Ringgit off to slow start as Asia waits for Chinese data

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was off to a slow start on Thursday as the Asian market waits for Chinese retail sales and industrial data, a dealer said.

As at 9am, the local unit eased to 4.2625/2685 against the greenback from 4.2600/2640 recorded at Wednesday’s close.

AxiCorp chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said currencies in Asia are trading flat although risk sentiment remained quite positive with US stocks trading higher and oil prices stabilising at supportive levels.

“For today, the ringgit will take its cue from the Chinese renminbi’s reaction to the Chinese economic data due today,” he told Bernama.

Oil price was trading higher nearly 2% yesterday following the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) nations’ agreement to taper the production cuts.

Nevertheless, at press time, Brent crude stood at US$43.65 per barrel, down by 0.32%.

Meanwhile, AmBank Group in its research note today expect the local note to trade between its support level of 4.2545 and 4.2588 while resistance is pinned at 4.2672 and 4.2719.

It said the focus of the day will be on the European Central Bank’s and Bank of Indonesia’s monetary policy committee meetings.

Against a basket of currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher except with the yen, where it fell to 3.9848/9907 from 3.9835/9877.

Against the Singapore dollar, the ringgit moved slightly higher at 3.0654/0715 from 3.0661/0694.

Vis-a-vis the British pound, the domestic unit increased to 5.3588/3668 from 5.3680/3748  and appreciated to 4.8644/8729 from 4.8675/8729 when compared with the euro.