KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was traded slightly lower against the US dollar in the early session today due to escalating market uncertainties, according to an economist.

At 9 am, the local note inched down to 4.4270/4310 versus the greenback compared with last Friday’s closing rate of 4.4250/4305.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, Kristalina Georgieva indicated that the risks of financial instability have increased.

He added that such remarks came on the heel of more banks being on the radar, the most recent one being the Deutsche Bank due to its plunging share prices.

“The investing community is still confounded by the conflicting signals from the authorities.

“Consequently, the market uncertainties have become elevated and therefore, I am not surprised if the risk-off mode prevails this week,“ he told Bernama.

As such, Mohd Afzanizam foresees that the ringgit would move in a tight range between RM4.42 and RM4.43 today.

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

The local note fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7635/7678 from 4.7476/7535 at last Friday’s close and depreciated against the British pound to 5.4142/4191 from 5.4034/4101 previously.

However, it appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.3848/3881 from 3.4099/4144 last week.

At the same time, the ringgit was traded mixed against Asean currencies.

The local currency declined against the Indonesian rupiah to 292.1/292.5 from 291.90/292.50 last Friday and slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.3218/3253 from 3.3178/3225 previously.

However, the local note strengthened against the Thai baht to 12.9252/9421 from 12.9610/9835 and improved vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.14/8.15 from 8.15/8.16 previously. - Bernama