Ringgit lower against US dollar at opening

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit traded lower against the US dollar at opening today on lack of catalyst for the local note amid uncertainty over the US-China trade deal, a dealer said.

At 9am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1590/1620 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.1560/1590.

Axi Trader Asia-Pacific market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit would be trading with a weaker bias tracking the Chinese yuan over the trade deal uncertainty coupled with the Hong Kong bill that was passed by the US Senate.

“The Chinese yuan’s sentiment has taken another turn for the worse, and the bill passed might open a whole new can of worms as US President Donald Trump might have to defer to his party wishes and sign the bill into law, which will trigger some form of retaliation from Beijing.

“Traders hate uncertainly and are predictably reducing some Chinese yuan risk,” he said in a note.

The US Senate unanimously passed legislation aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid pro-democracy protests.

On the local front, Innes said the recent political unease went several notches higher after the government led-Pakatan Harapan suffered an election setback after losing the Tanjung Piai by-election.

“Indeed, this should provide a bit of a wake-up call to government leaders,” Innes said.

Meanwhile, the local note traded mostly lower against other major currencies.

The ringgit eased against the Singapore dollar at 3.0549/0583 from 3.0534/0567 on yesterday, lower against the yen to 3.8304/8342 from 3.8202/8240 and went down against the euro to 4.6078/6115 from 4.5990/5040.

However, the local note appreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.3734/3777 from 5.3829/3884 previously.