The ringgit opened marginally lower today following a chaotic overnight session in crude oil markets which saw the U.S crude oil futures plunged to below $0 for the first time in history.
At 9.01 am, the ringgit weakened to 4.3780/3880 against the US dollar from 4.3700/3770 at Monday’s close.
AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for May contract 2020 traded to -US$40.32 per barrel.
“The sharp plunge in demand has caused storage saturation levels to the brim, forcing sellers to pay buyers to take May barrels.
“Should the crude oil price remains under pressure, which it is expected to, this could exert more downside risk to the ringgit,” he said in a note today.
Malaysia, being a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products, is heavily reliant on the price movement of this commodity.
At the opening bell, the ringgit traded mixed against other major currencies.
It depreciated against the yen to 4.0631/0728 from 4.0587/0663 on Monday and fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0772/0860 from 3.0751/0811 yesterday.
Vis-a-vis the pound, the local note advanced to 5.4432/4574 from 5.4524/4616 yesterday and against the euro, it ticked up to 4.7528/7649 from 4.7550/7644 at Monday close.