Ringgit opens marginally lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened marginally lower as market participants stayed on the sidelines amid positive developments surrounding the signing of US-China phase one trade deal and the Senate’s approval of a new commerce agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada.

As at 9.11am, the ringgit was at 4.0620/0650 against the US dollar from 4.0610/0660 at yesterday’s close.

Public Investment Bank in a note said the trade pact between US and China signalled a truce in the dispute over import tariffs which has unsettled markets worldwide and slowed economic growth.

AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit remains the bullish sleeper for the first half of 2020.

“The signing of the trade deal will boost Asean exporter and equity/bond inflow sensitive currencies like the ringgit. Keeping in mind the ringgit was undervalued relative to regional peers,” said Innes.

“As global growth continues to pick up the pace, exporter currencies should be in good demand and the ringgit should prosper as risk appetite soars and accordingly, oil prices move higher.”

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies, except for the British pound.

The ringgit improved to 3.6844/6874 from 3.6911/6967 against the Japanese yen and increased to 3.0167/0192 against the Singapore dollar from Thursday’s close of 3.0175/0224.

The local note, however, decreased against the British pound to 5.3111/3154 from 5.3004/3082 but strengthened against the euro at 4.5243/5280 from yesterday’s 4.5288/5356.