KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as the greenback strengthened on renewed interest in safe haven currencies in light of the crisis in the Middle East, an analyst said.
At 9 am, the local note fell to 4.7150/7200 against the greenback from last Friday’s close of 4.7115/7155.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said demand for the US dollar had increased as the latest development in the Israel-Palestine conflict is expected to take centre stage today.
“While it remains to be seen whether the military conflict can be resolved in the near term, concerns over crude oil prices is something that markets are anxious about.. whether it will create a shock in a tightly controlled market, what this would mean to inflation and subsequently how major central banks such as the United States Federal Reserve would respond,” he told Bernama.
At the same time, the ringgit was traded lower versus a basket of major currencies.
It had edged down against the yen at 3.1619/1657 from 3.1612/1641 at last Friday’s close, declined against the euro to 4.9847/9900 from 4.9720/9763 and depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.7622/7683 from 5.7494/7543 previously.
The local note also traded lower against other Asian currencies, except against the Philippines’ peso where it had inched up to 8.31/8.33 compared with Friday’s close of 8.32/8.33.
It decreased versus the Thai baht to 12.7525/7706 from 12.7200/7367, eased against the Indonesian rupiah at 301.9/302.4 from 301.7/302 and slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.4519/4559 from 3.4458/4493 previously.