Ringgit opens lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today on the back of sliding oil prices as a surge in new Covid-19 cases in the US dampened investors’ mood, said an analyst.

As at 9am, the local unit weakened to 4.2670/2750 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.2600/2650.

AxiCorp chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit rally took a turn for the worse as fresh Covid-19 cases in the US raised fears of further economically-damaging lockdowns.

“The rise of new cases in the US triggered a 3% correction in oil prices overnight as the virus continues to see oil producing states such as California, Texas and Florida notch some of the biggest daily increases in cases and deaths this week,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, AmBank Research said the US dollar strengthened due to its safe-haven appeal. The greenback also gained impetus after the US economy witnessed slower job claims for the week ending July 4 at 1.3 million against 1.4 million in the previous week.

The research firm said investors would continue to monitor new coronavirus cases in the US and the country’s Supreme Court ruling on President Donald Trump’s financial records.

“We expect the ringgit to trade between our support level of 4.2537 and 4.2583 while our resistance is pinned at 4.2672 and 4.2726,” it said in a note today.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mixed against other benchmark currencies.

The domestic unit dropped against the Singapore dollar to 3.0621/0685 from 3.0595/0642 on Thursday and was lower against the yen at 3.9838/9923 from 3.9702/9752 yesterday.

The local note strengthened against the euro to 4.8106/8213 from 4.8262/8335 and firmer against the British pound to 5.3726/3835 from 5.3906/3982.