At 9:20 am, the local score stood at 4.2270 / 2300 against the greenback. – Photo by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, December 20 – The ringgit opened more weakly against the US dollar, the latter continuing to gain ground thanks to the increasingly hawkish tone of the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) decision to double the reduction in asset purchases by US $ 30 billion (RM 126.8 billion) per month would put the Fed’s quantitative easing program on track to end by March 2022, several months ahead of the original schedule.

At 9:20 am, the local score stood at 4.2270 / 2300 against the greenback from Friday’s close at 4.2190 / 2210.

In a note released today, Kenanga Research said the move paves the way for rate hikes earlier next year, with 18 FOMC members expecting at least one hike in 2022, while 12 members forecast three hikes of 0.25 basis points.

As a result, the ringgit could depreciate 0.01% to 4.22 this week, he said.

He also believes that the ringgit will continue to decline due to lingering fears about the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was mostly lower against a basket of other major currencies except the euro where it fell from 4.7805 / 7828 to 4.7520 / 7554.

It fell against the pound to 5.5906 / 5946 from 5.6180 / 6203 last Friday, fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0915 / 0941 from 3.0899 / 0919 and slipped against the Japanese yen to 3.7206 / 7236 from 3.7139 / 7160 previously. . – Bernama