Ringgit ends easier in cautious trade

At 6pm August 23, 2019, the ringgit finished at 4.1900/1930 against the greenback from 4.1880/191 on Tuesday. — AFP pic
At 6pm August 23, 2019, the ringgit finished at 4.1900/1930 against the greenback from 4.1880/191 on Tuesday. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today as market players await more clues on the global monetary policy direction from the highly-anticipated Jackson Hole symposium.

At 6pm, the ringgit finished at 4.1900/1930 against the greenback from 4.1880/191 on Tuesday.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said China’s yuan also continued to weaken to 7.08 against the greenback, suggesting more uncertainties ahead.

Meanwhile, VM Markets Pte Ltd managing partner Stephen Innes said the ringgit weakness was triggered by a weaker yuan.

“It appears that Asia FX has started to take notice of the weaker yuan, which depreciated nearly 0.7 per cent in the past five trading sessions, while the ringgit only 0.3 per cent.

“We think the correlation should be at a minimum of 0.5-0.6 per cent but this doesn’t necessarily mean the ringgit will weaken dramatically,” Innes told Bernama.

He said on a positive note, the yuan fix is a bit stronger than yesterday’s official close, suggesting that the People’s Bank of China wants to at least temper the yuan depreciation to some extent.

In addition, he said the performance of the ringgit also very much depends on Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s policy messaging at the Jackson Hole symposium tonight.

The ringgit was traded mixed against other major currencies.

It was traded stronger against the yen at 3.9284/9327 from 3.9365/9404 and versus the euro at 4.6333/6383 from 4.6407/6449 previously.

The local unit, however, was weaker against the Singapore dollar at 3.0213/0237 from 3.0197/0221 and vis-a-vis the British pound at 5.1147/1201 from 5.0813/0854. — Bernama

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