Ringgit retreats from gains to close lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR • The ringgit retreated from its gains yesterday to end lower against the US dollar today amid mixed sentiments in the market as investors continued to seek the safe-haven greenback, a dealer said.

At 6.02pm, the local currency fell to 4.6345/6390 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.6290/6315.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the market is still heavily long on the US dollar as China is on holiday this week and investors are waiting for the US’ non-farm payrolls data tomorrow.

“Hence, there has been little appetite for challenging the ringgit’s newfound strength just yet.

“The non-farm payrolls’ effect makes ringgit trade lower; the market is pricing in a very big risk event tomorrow so we could be stuck in range trade but so far this week it is a small win for the local unit,” he told Bernama.

He said short-term US dollar bulls appeared to stay on the sidelines as they await the non-farm payrolls data, which could offer a good re-entry point for US dollar longs if the data beats expectations and supports further US Federal Reserve (Fed) hawkishness.

If the US jobs data comes in weaker, he expects the US dollar to slide to 4.6000 as the broader market pares US dollar longs on a less hawkish read of the Fed.

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

The local note rose against the British pound to 5.2231/2282 from 5.2706/2734 at yesterday’s close, inched up against the Japanese yen to 3.2033/2066 from 3.2037/2056 previously, and appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.5821/5866 from 4.5966/5991 previously. 

However, it eased versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2518/2552 from 3.2500/2522 yesterday. — BERNAMA / graphic by TMR