KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The ringgit opened easier against the US dollar today due to subdued risk appetite among traders, as doubts emerged on the extent of tariff reductions in phase one trade deal between the United States and China.
As at 9.12am, the ringgit was at 4.0790/0820 against the US dollar from 4.0730/0760 at yesterday’s close.
Public Investment Bank in a note said as part of a US-China trade deal expected to be signed in Washington on Wednesday, China will pledge to buy US$200 billion of US goods in four industries over a two-year period in return for lower US tariffs, according to several reports.
AxiTrader chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit will continue to track the underlying movement of the Yuan, but inflows have dried up a bit on the cusp of the phase one trade deal as there remains a lot of uncertainty about the road map for phase two of the deal.
“But on a positive note, China is expected to toe the line on any weakness in the renminbi as we move forward to negotiating Phase Two, which should provide a floor on any ringgit weakness,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
The ringgit declined to 3.7099/7136 from 3.7021/7051 against the Japanese yen and trimmed to 3.0262/0300 against the Singapore dollar from 3.0224/0251 at the close yesterday.
The local note decreased against the British pound to 5.3096/3156 from 5.2831/2886 and weakened against the euro at 4.5399/5437 from 4.5332/5382. — Bernama