Ringgit opens lower against US dollar on falling oil prices


KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit traded lower against the US dollar in the early trading session today on lack of demand due to falling crude oil prices, coupled with China’s weaker Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), said an analyst.

At 9.00 am, the local currency was trading at 4.2130/2160 versus the greenback from 4.2110/2135 at Friday’s close.

At press time, Brent crude oil stood at US$103.81 per barrel, a decrease of 0.57 per cent, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 0.70 per cent to US$98.59 per barrel.

Global managing partner at SPI Asset Management Stephen Innes said the ringgit is a touch weaker on the poor China’s PMI, which fell to 48.1 in March, indicating the steepest rate of contraction since February 2020 from 50.4 in the previous month.

“Still, the local unit struggles amid uncertainties in key trading partners, such as the European economies and China, bringing downside risks to export growth,” he told Bernama today.

Meanwhile, another analyst said oil prices continue its downtrend as the United Arab Emirates welcomes a two-month truce on the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Innes said market players were also concerned about global supplies since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

At the opening, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies, except for the Japanese yen.

The local unit rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.1056/1080 from 3.1061/1082 at Friday’s close and appreciated against British pound to 5.5241/5280 from 5.5286/5319.

It improved vis-a-vis the euro to 4.6545/6578 from 4.6557/6584 on Friday but depreciated against yen to 3.4420/4447  from 3.4376/4399.