Ringgit opens lower on US dollar strength

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit traded lower against the US dollar today as demand for the safe-haven greenback rose across the board amid worries over the worsening global economic outlook.

At 9.05am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.3600/3690 against the US dollar compared with yesterday’s close of 4.3480/3550.

An analyst said last week’s initial jobless claims in the US, which has doubled to 6.65 million following the impact of Covid-19 on employment, has driven investors to seek shelter in the greenback.

In addition, investors are looking forward to local February export and import data scheduled to be released today.

Meanwhile, AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the jump in crude oil price should see the ringgit trade on a positive trend, but not today.

“And while the bounce in oil doesn’t signal a rush for the ringgit, we’re in a much better position today than we were in midweek, which is a good thing for the local sentiment,” he added.

Investors are also positive towards FTSE Russell’s announcement to keep Malaysia on its World Government Bond Index (WGBI) watch list at the interim review.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It marginally improved vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7271/7386 compared to the 4.7537/7631 at yesterday’s close and appreciated against the British pound to 5.3981/4114 from 5.4180/4285.

The local unit also rose versus the Japanese yen to 4.0363/0450 from 4.0518/0591 but fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0441/0508 from 3.0395/0457.