KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened easier against the US dollar on Wednesday as most investors await the first Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year, after which they will announce the new Overnight Policy Rate (OPR).

At 9:05 am, the ringgit was marginally lower to 4.7270/7335 against the greenback compared to Tuesday’s closing of 4.7265/7290.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the market’s expectations are that BNM will keep interest rates steady at three per cent in its upcoming decision.

“In light of a recent media report suggesting that China is planning to inject 2 trillion yuan (RM1.32 trillion) into its economy to boost local market and investor confidence, Southeast Asian currencies have generally strengthened in comparison to the US dollar.

“There is a belief that the ringgit will catch up with the rest of the Asean currency basket if the proposed Chinese stimulus plan is implemented,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1900/1946 from 3.1994/2013, rose against the British pound to 5.9976/6.0059 from 6.0159/0191 and improved versus the euro to 5.1293/1363 from 5.1457/1485 at Tuesday’s close.

Concurrently, the local note was traded mostly higher against Asean currencies.

It was marginally higher against the Singapore dollar to 3.5242/5293 from 3.5283/5304, gained versus the Thai baht to 13.2106/2343 from 13.2395/2521 and picked up against the Philippine peso at 8.39/8.41 from 8.41/8.42, previously.

It was traded marginally lower against the Indonesian rupiah to 302.3/302.7.4 from 302.2/302.4 at yesterday’s close. - Bernama

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