Ringgit opens lower amid trade war escalation

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar today on the back of worries over escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.

At 9am, the local currency stood at 4.1550/1580 against 4.1515/1545 recorded at Wednesday’s closing.

Oanda Head of Trading in Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said the US Treasury would likely classify China as a currency manipulator, taking upward pressure off the yuan at least ahead of next week.

“The local note will test the 4.16 level today or tomorrow but the sentiment could be tempered ahead of the US consumer price index.

“However, with budget concerns and higher US yields, the trader will take a defensive posture on the US dollar but buying could accelerate on a break of 4.16 level,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded lower against all other major currencies.

It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0056/0082 from 3.0016/0048 yesterday and slipped versus the Japanese yen to 3.7012/7049 from 3.6668/6704.

The local note decreased against the euro to 4.7920/7967 from 4.7688/7731 and depreciated against the British pound to 5.4879/4935 from 5.4601/4657.