KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today due to lack of buying interest as investors await Malaysia’s November unemployment rate figure which is expected to be released tomorrow.
At 6pm, the ringgit was quoted at 4.0970/0020 against the greenback from 4.0940/0980 recorded last Friday.
Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said besides the unemployment data, the local currency’s performance was also influenced by the release of Chinese trade data which saw a sharp drop in December 2018.
It was reported that the trade data showed total exports fell to US$221.25 billion in December, down 1.4 per cent from November, and 4.4 per cent from the same month in 2017, which is the biggest since December 2016 when China grew at its slowest pace since 1990.
"Overall, the ringgit has held up very well today despite the weaker-than-expected trade data out of China which has caused oil prices and commodity currency to weaken and continue to linger negatively on general risk sentiment," he told Bernama.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil price has decreased marginally from US$60.52 per barrel at 10 am today and was recorded at US$59.89 per barrel at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mixed against other major currencies.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0238/0286 from 3.0297/0338 recorded last Friday, and strengthened versus the euro to 4.6960/6034 from 4.7155/7217.
The local unit depreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7879/7936 from 3.7785/7832 previously and contracted against the British pound to 5.2577/2653 from 5.2203/2270. — Bernama