Ringgit opens lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was lower against the US dollar in early trade today on the back of lower oil prices, said a dealer.

At 9.23 am, the local unit was traded at 4.0970/1020 against the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.0920/0960.

SPI Asset Management head of trading and market strategy Stephen Innes said trade tensions between the European Union and the US as well as the lower crude oil prices would keep the ringgit trading in a tight range today.

Brent crude was at US70.51 per-barrel last night, down by 59 cents.

He also said the ringgit should be the beneficiary of improving Asean’s higher domestic commodity prices, resulting in an improving current account balance.

“But the combination of dovish global central banks and moderate domestic inflation does open the door to a preemptive Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) policy easing.

“But from my chair, there are few if any potent arguments from the BNM to ease, outside of moderate inflation, given the nascent revival in the global reflation trade as the US Federal Reserve and People’s Bank of China are helping the global economy by doing the lions share of the heavy lifting,”said Innes in a note today.

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

It eased against the Singapore dollar to 3.0258/0300 from 3.0246/0280 and weakened against the Japanese yen to 3.6853/6902 from 3.6772/6818.

The ringgit rose against the British pound to 5.3470/3552 from 5.3556/3625 but depreciated against the euro to 4.6128/6201 from 4.6125/6191.