KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was slightly lower against the US dollar in early trading Friday, in line with weaker regional currencies, as worries over slowing global growth shifted investors’ interest towards safe haven US dollar.
At 9.10 am (0110 gmt), the ringgit stood at 4.1440/1490 against the greenback from 4.1410/1450 at the close Thursday.
A dealer said traders were cautious given uncertainties surrounding trade talks between the United States and China.
“Investors are wary about the prospects for an amicable solution before an early March deadline,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against other major currencies, except against the euro where it rose to 4.6869/6929 from 4.6984/6033 Thursday.
It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0459/0507 from 3.0435/0469, declined against the Japanese yen to 3.7783/7832 from 3.7728/7775 and was lower against the British pound at 5.4303/4385 from 5.4019/4080 previously, – Bernama
AmBank Research said as expected Bank Negara kept interest rates unchanged at 3.25 percent.
“We are holding to our base case view of no change to the OPR in 2019,” it said.
However, the research house said it raised its rate cut probability to 40 percent now with the possibility of raising it even higher is there are strong evidence of low inflation especially if the underlying inflation fails to pick up and growing risk of the economy falling into “nominal recession”.
“We are looking at between 25-50bps rate cut should that happen,” it said.
On the external side, despite the Senate blocked the bills to fund the government, leaving no clear path to end the longest government shutdown ever, the dollar showed some resilience. On the whole, AmBank Research expects the ringgit to trade between its support level of 4.1305 and 4.1348 while its resistance is pinned at 4.1473 and 4.1510.