Ringgit nearly hits year high on positive US-China trade deal

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit nearly hit its year high today against the US dollar on the last trading day of 2019, lifted by a softer greenback coupled with progress on the US-China trade deal.

The ringgit was traded at 4.0980/1010 versus the US dollar compared with yesterday’s close of 4.1045/1085 – its highest since Jan 30.

AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said the local note was tracking the firmer Chinese yuan, supported by the anticipation of the US-China “phase one” trade deal to be signed early next year.

“The yuan is the purest barometer to understand the broader US dollar movement amid the US-China friction, while the greenback is anticipated to trade lower in the months ahead,” he told Bernama.

Innes said traders, however, remained cautious on the ringgit, amid a fairly weak external environment.

“The ringgit was playing a bit of year-end catch up to its currency peers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.0389/0430 from yesterday’s 3.0424/0458 but depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.7665/7703 from 3.7608/7655.

The local currency increased against the British pound to 5.3749/3793 from 5.3839/3908 and strengthened against the euro to 4.5914/5956 from 4.5966/6019.