Virus concerns hit ringgit performance on opening

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower today as the global economy continues to be under pressure following concerns of a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At 9am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.2770/2850 compared with 4.2650/2700 at Friday’s close.

An analyst said the performance was in reaction to the spike in cases recorded in Beijing’s biggest wholesale market, following the economic reopening after the two-month shutdown.

Aside from Beijing, Tokyo also reported that its total daily new Covid-19 cases rose to 47 – its highest tally since May 5, while in the US, New York governor Andrew Cuomo warned New Yorkers against triggering a second wave of the Covid-19.

“The US Federal Reserve had also painted a sober picture of the economy on Friday, declaring that the country’s financial system remains under stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that the path back to steady growth and a strong labour market remains uncertain,” said the analyst.

Locally, despite the growing positive sentiment following the drop in local transmissions for Covid-19 in Malaysia, the fear of a second wave is still high as almost all economies have resumed activities.

“Until the situation is completely under control, the market will continue to be affected by the ongoing scenarios,” she said.

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

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0649/0717 from Friday’s close of 3.0706/0753 and climbed to 5.3454/3571 from 5.3944/3024 versus the British pound.

The local note was slightly lower at 3.9894/9979 from 3.9663/9717 vis-a-vis the Japanese yen and appreciated against the Euro to 4.8091/8498 from 4.8280/8353.