Ringgit lower against US dollar at opening

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): The ringgit opened the week on a weaker note as investors continued to worry over Malaysia’s highest daily Covid-19 cases.

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At 9.02am, the local note stood lower at 4.2230/2250 versus the greenback compared with 4.2180/2205 at last Friday’s close.

Last Friday, Malaysia recorded 20,889 new Covid-19 infections, the highest since the pandemic started last year, but the number of new positive cases dropped to 18,688 yesterday with 360 deaths, the highest-ever fatalities in a single day.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced the long-awaited reopening of the economic and social sectors.

“Such news could perhaps provide some good sentiment to the local currency, which has been bearish as of late amid a confluence of factors, mainly due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country,” he told Bernama.

Main relaxations include interstate and inter-district travel for long-distance married couples and parents who need to visit their children below 18 years old in other locations.

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States that have transitioned into Phase 2 onwards under the National Recover Plan, meanwhile, are also allowed to have dine-in service at restaurants for fully vaccinated people.

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

The ringgit rose against the Japanese yen to 3.8300/8322 from 3.8415/8442 at last Friday’s close and appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.9633/9656 from 4.9815/9844.

It strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.1152/1169 from 3.1219/1240 and was higher against the British pound to 5.8548/8575 from 5.8685/8720.-BERNAMA