KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): The ringgit opened marginally lower against the US dollar today as political uncertainties weighed on market sentiment, said an analyst.
At 9am, the local note stood at 4.2370/2400 versus the greenback compared with yesterday’s close at 4.2350/2390.
“The ringgit looks particularly vulnerable as Malaysia’s political crisis deepens and oil prices remain soft,” said OANDA Asia Pacific senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.
He said Covid-19 virus fears were also weighing on sentiment in Asia in general, with markets casting a wary eye towards the evolution of the situation in China, particularly partial port closures.
Meanwhile, on the external front, ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said forex investors would be focusing on US retail sales data to come out later today, which may offer clues about US consumption and might determine the behaviour of the greenback in the next few days.
“A higher-than-expected reading could cause the US dollar to break above 4.2370 and reach the 4.2890 level, while a lower-than-expected number could cause a breakout below the 4.2150 level and further down to 4,1750,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, the local note was traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.
It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.1237/1264 from 3.1227/1259 at yesterday’s close and dipped against the Japanese yen to 3.8786/8814 from 3.8732/8769.
The ringgit was, however, slightly better against the euro at 4.9886/9922 compared with 4.9893/9940 yesterday and appreciated against the British pound to 5.8623/8665 from 5.8680/8736 previously. -BERNAMA