Ringgit higher against US dollar in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar in early trade today on better demand for the local note due to higher global oil price and weak US manufacturing data.

At 9.05am, the ringgit was traded at 4.1720/1750 against the greenback from 4.1780/1820 yesterday.

The US’ Institute for Supply Management announced yesterday that its national factory activity index declined by 0.2 point to 48.1 in November, marking the fourth consecutive month of shrinking manufacturing activity.

The unexpected decline has put a big dent on optimism that the US economy has stabilised, fuelled by a recent run of upbeat reports, said a dealer.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a production cut by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its allies to be discussed at a meeting this week has lifted global oil price, which in turn raised positive market sentiment towards Malaysia.

“Market players said higher oil price will have a positive impact on the country’s oil and gas revenue,” he added.

Brent futures rose 0.7% to US$60.92 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 1.4% to US$55.96.

The ringgit, however, was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local currency declined against the Singapore dollar at 3.0531/0557 from 3.0521/0561 yesterday and was lower against the yen at 3.8226/8264 from 3.8107/8153 previously.

It depreciated against the British pound to 5.3956/3999 from 5.3925/4002 yesterday and decreased against the euro to 4.6201/6238 from 4.6025/6073.