Ringgit Weekly Outlook - 21 July 2023

Another Fed pause or a dovish guidance may reverse safe-haven flows, but uncertainty remains

The UK disinflationary story, dovish ECB repricing and BoJ’s Governor Ueda’s signal to maintain ultra-easy policy have all contributed to boost the USD index (DXY) back above the 100.0 level, weakening the local note from its last Friday's level of 4.527. The ringgit has continued to depreciate to 4.543 against the USD on Thursday, despite a surge in yuan amid reports of government intervention. However, the ringgit's losses were capped by weakerthan-expected US retail sales and industrial production readings.

The direction of the ringgit for next week will be primarily influenced by the outcome of the Fed's July FOMC meeting. While the house expects the Fed to keep rates unchanged at 5.25%, given signs of disinflation and emerging cracks in the labour market in the US, a majority still expects a 25 bps hike. This potential rate increase could bolster the DXY to trade above the 101.0 level. On the other hand, if the Fed decides to maintain status quo or provide a dovish guidance, it should help the ringgit to appreciate near the 4.50/USD level. Additionally, the market will also closely monitor the policy direction of the ECB and BoJ.