Ringgit eases against US dollar at opening

Ringgit trades lower against the US dollar.

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit continues its downtrend against the US dollar as cautious investors await tomorrow’s release of the gross domestic product (GDP) data, dealers said.

At 9 am today, the ringgit was lower at 4.1715/1745 against the greenback compared with 4.1690/1720 during yesterday’s close.

A dealer said that despite the expected weakened data, there are still sectors that are expected to thrive despite the slowdown such as manufacturing, hence, the data could lift investors’ sentiment.

“With the US-China trade war escalating, investors are looking for an alternative location and if Malaysia could provide an option, it could be good for the country,” he said.

On the oil front, he said the price of crude oil is expected to stabilise between US$70 to US$75 per barrel, as the global energy investments have been steady at over US$1.8 trillion in 2018, ending three years of declines.

“As an oil producing country, the price stabilisation is a good thing as it does not fluctuates much, which could cause ripple effects to other industries if the price dips too low,” he said.

At 9 am, the benchmark Brent Crude was at US$71.04 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly higher against other major currencies.

The local note traded slightly higher against the Singapore dollar at 3.0460/0484 from 3.0466/0499 on Tuesday’s close but depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.8061/8099 from 3.8018/8048.

The local currency strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.3858/3901 from 5.3955/4011 and rose against the euro to 4.6733/6771 from 4.6843/6885 yesterday.