Ringgit slips further against US dollar at close

KUALA LUMPUR • The ringgit slipped further against the US dollar at the close today in line with most Asian currencies, as the greenback continued to strengthen its appeal as a safe haven currency, an analyst said.

At 6pm, the local currency fell to 4.6720/6745 against the US dollar from last Friday’s close of 4.6480/6520.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the ringgit continued to weaken post-US payroll data after higher global yields triggered risk-off sentiments and rising demand for safe-haven US dollars. 

According to the US Department of Labour, non-farm payrolls rose by 263,000 in September while the unemployment data was also stronger at 3.5% than the forecast of 3.7%, which was favourable to the greenback.

Innes noted that regional exporter currencies like the ringgit were negatively affected by concerns surrounding Chinese import demand as Covid cases are picking up in the country.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper, the People’s Daily ran a commentary saying the Covid Zero policy is ‘sustainable’, indicating that the country is likely to keep following it or double down on it to prevent post-Golden Week Covid spreaders.

“Oil prices also fell which negatively impacted oil exporters’ currencies like the ringgit,” he told Bernama.

He also highlighted that the Chinese yuan fixing at 7.1075 against the US dollar was a topside surprise as the market had expected the People’s Bank of China to maintain the fix below 7.1000.

“This resulted in the onshore spot quickly jumping above 7.1700 after the opening following the solid US dollar buying into Monday’s onshore close. Given the ringgit’s tight correlation to Chinese New Year, the ringgit struggled,” he added.

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

The local note rose against the British pound to 5.1607/1635 from 5.2132/2177 at last Friday’s close and appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.5314/5338 from 4.5574/5613 previously. 

It improved versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2472/2491 from 3.2529/2559 last Friday and strengthened against the Japanese yen to 3.2059/2079 from 3.2084/2116 previously. — Bernama/pic by Muhd Amin Naharul