Ringgit marginally higher against US dollar at opening

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Kuala Lumpur
– The ringgit opened marginally higher against the US dollar amid uncertainty over the US proposed import tariffs and the resignation of its top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, a dealer said.

At 9am, the local note was quoted at 3.9020/9060 against the greenback from Wednesday’s 3.9030/9080.

 OANDA Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said US President Donald Trump was expected to announce steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports before the end of this week, while investors were left absorbing the aftershocks from Cohn’s resignation.

“Investors are hoping for a more efficient tariff approach directed at more obvious trade infringements. Where there is hope, there is still life in the markets,” he said.

On the local front, Innes said the Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to keep the Overnight Policy Rate at 3.25 per cent unchanged yesterday was widely expected on the back of a positive global growth outlook.

“It will take an inflationary surprise to move the rate increase dial one more time in 2018.

“But BNM certainly left the door open for further policy normalisation by signalling that it will continue to assess the balance of growth and inflation,” he added.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It marginally rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9675/9717 from Wednesday’s 2.9687/9730 and appreciated against the yen to 3.6777/6825 from 3.6950/6008.

Against the euro, the ringgit rose to 4.8408/8473 from 4.8483/8561 but depreciated against the British pound to 5.4246/4317 from 5.4107/4192 yesterday. — Bernama