Ringgit opens lower versus US dollar on lack buying interest


KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today on lack of buying interest ahead of Malaysia’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data which is due to be released tomorrow, said an analyst.

At 9 am, the local currency stood at 4.1840/1870 versus the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.1825/1850.

The analyst said investors are in a cautious mode following the surge in daily COVID-19 cases which has influenced the ringgit movement.

Yesterday, it was reported that the nation’s COVID-19 tally rose to 17,134 new cases from 13,944 cases recorded the previous day.

Nonetheless, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said judging from the Wall Street’s movement last night, the Malaysian ringgit could rise today.

“Benchmark equities such as Standard and Poor’s 500, and Nasdaq were up by 1.45 per cent and 2.08 per cent, respectively last night following better-than-expected earnings reports from Disney and several other technology companies.

“Meanwhile, the 10-year United States (US) Treasury yield was lower by two basis points to close at 1.94 per cent although January’s Consumer Price Index is anticipated to come in excess of seven per cent year-on-year,” he told Bernama.

On that note, the ringgit could hover between RM4.17 and RM4.18 against the greenback today, he said.

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

It appreciated against the Japanese yen at 3.6203/6229 compared to Wednesday’s close of 3.6250/6275, rose against the British pound to 5.6622/6663 from 5.6765/6799 and gained vis-a-vis the euro to  4.7769/7803 from 4.7785/7814.

However, the local note depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1173/1197 from 3.1148/1169 previously.