Covid-19 concerns cause ringgit to open slightly lower

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated slightly from yesterday’s gains to trade moderately lower against the US dollar in the early session today as heightened concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic drove investors away from riskier assets, dealers said.

As at 9.25am, the local currency eased to 4.2450/2500 against the greenback from 4.2300/2350 at yesterday’s close.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last night declared the rapidly spreading virus outbreak a pandemic with the number of victims topping 121,000 as of last night.

The ringgit was traded mixed against other major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0400/0444 from yesterday’s close of 3.0425/0468 but decreased versus the Japanese yen to 4.0786/0846 from 4.0263/0322.

The local unit appreciated against the British pound to 5.4523/4600 from 5.4812/4894 but weakened vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7956/8017 from 4.7812/7877.