KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated from its gains last week to open lower against the US dollar today, weighed down by a strengthening greenback and declining crude oil prices, an analyst said.
At 9am, the local note eased to 4.5000/4.5100 against the US dollar from last Friday’s close of 4.4795/4.4890.
The market was closed yesterday in conjunction with the special public holiday announced by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday last week.
SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said traders were seen seeking shelter under the safe-haven dollar amid global recession concerns, while awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s chair Jerome Powell’s speech on rate hike tomorrow.
“The demand for the greenback kicked into gear after a chorus of Fed speakers turned up the hawkish tone on the rate hike yesterday, likely setting the table ahead of Powell’s speech,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Innes noted that oil prices remained volatile as news flows oscillated between supply increases and supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
At the time of writing, the benchmark Brent crude oil price fell 0.46% to US$82.81.
At the opening, the ringgit was traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.
The local note dropped versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2628/3.2705 from 3.2573/3.2645 at Friday’s close and slipped against the Japanese yen to 3.2425/3.2500 from 3.2118/3.2188 previously.
However, it appreciated versus the British pound to 5.3852/5.3971 from 5.4094/5.4209 last Friday and increased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.6530/4.6633 from 4.6551/4.6650 previously.