Ringgit opens higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar on buying support today after yesterday’s downtrend amid a possible realignment of the country’s political forces and the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

At 9am, the local note was trading at 4.2170/2220 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.2240/2270.

An analyst said the ringgit improved after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) came out with a statement yesterday saying it is closely monitoring conditions in the financial markets, following the latest developments on the country’s political landscape.

“While the ringgit movements will continue to be market-determined, BNM’s market operations will ensure sufficient liquidity and orderly financial market conditions,” said the central bank in a statement.

Meanwhile, the analyst said the ringgit was also supported by the institutional investors who have intervened in the market to stabilise the local currency.

On the external front, AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the trajectory of Asian currencies remains unclear amid continuing Covid-19 cases.

“In this environment, foreign investors have gone cold on riskier assets in favour of the umbrella of US treasuries, which is creating US dollar demand,” he said.

“Until we see a significant increase in people going back to work in China and the People’s Bank of China stimulus paying dividends via ramped up domestic production, Asia’s foreign currencies could languish.”

Meanwhile, the ringgit was mostly lower against other major currencies.

It increased against the Singapore dollar to 3.0171/0209 from 3.0126/0152 yesterday but declined against the yen to 3.8025/8081 from 3.7941/7978 previously.

The local note slid against the pound to 5.4496/4565 from 5.4464/4520 and fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.5754/5826 from 4.5678/5728.