Possibility of MCO extension hits ringgit at opening

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as worries of an extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) drove investors to seek shelter in the safe-haven greenback.

At 9.05am, the local note stood at 4.3750 against the US dollar compared with yesterday’s close of 4.3500/3650.

AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the emerging market is experiencing steep outflows amid growing signs of extension to the MCO.

“Yes, the economy is in bad shape, global investors are very nervous, and the US dollar will be the safe haven,” he told Bernama.

Following this, he said the ringgit will trade defensively in this hazardous environment.

Another analyst said rising fears of global recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to keep traders away from riskier assets.

The ringgit also traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

It fell against the Singapore dollar at 3.0477/0557 from 3.0341/0454 at yesterday’s close and eased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7880/8007 compared to 4.7554/7731.

The local unit also depreciated against the British pound to 5.4198/4343 from 5.3762/3964 and declined versus the Japanese yen to 4.0728/0832 from 4.0416/0567 previously.