KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today weighed down by regional sentiment as US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen signalled an increase in interest rates would come ‘relatively soon’, dealers said.
At 9.10 am, the local unit was traded at 4.3950/4020 against the greenback from 4.3900/3970 on Thursday.
The ringgit fell over one per cent to 4.3950 to the dollar, its weakest level since Jan 20, 2016.
It was also reported that other emerging currencies were also dragged down by Yellen’s announcement.
A dealer said the rise in interest rates and increased demand for the US dollar would also accelerate the reversal of capital flows while president-elect Donald Trump’s protectionism policy could further effect emerging currencies market negatively.
In a similar development, it was reported that the European Central Bank is expected to maintain its loose monetary policy position to stoke Eurozone inflation while the Fed is poised to raise its interest rates.
The local unit was, however, traded higher against other major currencies.
It went higher against the Singapore dollar to 3.0857/0911 from 3.0988/0063 on Thursday and rose against the British pound to 5.4516/4607 from 5.4717/4857 previously.
The ringgit appreciated against the yen to 3.9868/9946 from Thursday’s 4.0216/0314 and improved against the euro to 4.6591/6683 from 4.7070/7158 previously. – Bernama