Lingering worries over Covid-19 extend ringgit’s downtrend

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its downtrend against the US dollar at opening today due to lingering worries over the Covid-19 pandemic which has curbed traders’ risk appetite, said a dealer.

At 9am, the local currency depreciated to 4.3800/3850 against the greenback from yesterday’s closing of 4.3737/3844.

Yesterday, the government said it could be forced to extend the existing 14-day Movement Control Order if the measure failed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

The current order began yesterday and will last until the end of the month.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in an address broadcast live last night, said: “The government hopes after this two-week period, those with symptoms (Covid-19) are able to be isolated and treated, making Malaysia free of the virus.”

As of yesterday, Malaysia recorded 790 cases related to the disease.

The ringgit was traded higher against other major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0276/0327 from 3.0446/0664 and increased versus the Japanese yen to 4.0246/0303 from 4.0759/0898 at yesterday’s close.

The local note rose vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.0633/0708 from 5.2514/2570 and improved against the euro to 4.7751/7823 from 4.7938/8081.

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