KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was slightly higher against the US dollar at opening today, but continued to trade off the back foot, weighed down by the prospect of a trade war escalation and a deep dive in overnight oil prices.
At 9am, the ringgit stood at 4.1870/1920 from Tuesday’s close of 4.1890/1920.
VM Markets Pte Ltd managing partner Stephen Innes said markets had come full circle again in hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst.
“Based on the current situation, even the tiniest gestures could see investors respond more positively than warranted, given how emotionally invested market participants are, as the trade war remains intricately interwoven into the tapestry of virtually every trading decision,” he said in a statement.
The ringgit traded at a two-month low yesterday and it was also the local unit’s weakest performance since May 31, 2019, when it ended at 4.1890/1920 against the greenback.
Oil futures prices closed sharply lower on Tuesday, including a roughly seven-month low for international benchmark Brent.
Brent crude fell 87 cents, or 1.4%, at US$58.94 a barrel.
Meanwhile, against a basket of other major currencies, the local note traded mixed.
The ringgit improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.0316/0364 from yesterday’s 3.0318/0350 and vis-a-vis the pound, went up to 5.0993/1071 from 5.1123/1180.
But, it weakened against the yen to 3.9392/9450 from 3.9367/9406 and depreciated against the euro to 4.6920/6992 from 4.6917/6963.