Ringgit opens slightly lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar today as traders remained on the sidelines waiting for more positive signs before the new tariffs by the United States (US) on Chinese imports kicks off on Dec 15, 2019.

At 9.03am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1750/1780 against the greenback from Friday’s close of 4.1700/1750.

AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said given the heightened level of uncertainty and possible delay in the US-China trade deal, traders had been more inclined to pare back bullish bets and turn more neutral on Asean currency risk.

“Because of these elevated risks in general, global investors may be more prone to hedge Asean currencies, including the ringgit’s exposure into 2020 suggesting a bid on dip mentality will prevail in the absence of any positive trade development,” he said in a note today.

Innes expects the local note’s performance this week could be critical in shaping views into 2020, as the closer the market is to entering December, coupled with the fact that no face-to-face date or venue has been selected for the US-China trade talks, the higher the probability is for local risk assets to wobble and the ringgit to weaken.

At the opening bell, the ringgit opened mostly higher versus a basket of major currencies.

It went up against the yen to 3.8373/8411 from last Friday’s close of 3.8412/8469, appreciated against the pound to 5.3653/3696 from 5.3672/3753 and advanced versus the euro to 4.6013/6054 from 4.6116/6188.

The local note was marginally weakened vis-a-vis against the Singapore dollar at 3.0597/0624 from 3.0590/0638 on last Friday.