Ringgit higher against US dollar in early session

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit traded higher against the US dollar in the early session today, lifted by improved global sentiment in the equities and commodities market ahead of an Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting later today.

At 9.03am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.3300/3400 against the US dollar compared to yesterday’s close of 4.3450/3545.

AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said given the recent correlation of ringgit to oil prices and global risk sentiment, the local currency should have a favourable day.

“With investors awaiting the results of a high stakes Opec meeting, the ringgit may trade with a more guarded but optimistic tone today,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bank Islam chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said talks of the possible reopening of some parts of the US have contributed to the positive sentiments to the equities market.

Earlier in the week, the declining number of Covid-19 fatalities in the state of New York and New Jersey lifted major equity indices in the US by more than 7%.

“However, the number of new confirmed cases are still rising and to date, there are no credible signs of a vaccine or antibodies being discovered.

“In that sense, we think the forex market is still fragile. Perhaps the ringgit will linger around RM4.35 against the US dollar in the immediate terms,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies except for the British pound.

It increased vis-a-vis the euro at 4.7076/7202 compared to the 4.7200/7320 on yesterday’s close and rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0386/0465 from 3.0406/0487.

The local unit was higher versus the Japanese yen to 3.9721/9824 from 3.9906/0005 but depreciated against the British pound to 5.3744/3885 from 5.3552/3682.