KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — The ringgit closed lower versus the US dollar today, as the greenback edged higher on bullish US housing data, which strengthened expectations that the US economy would remain on a solid footing, dealers said.
At 6pm, the ringgit was quoted at 4.0680/0710 against the greenback compared with 4.0650/0680 yesterday.
A dealer said the ringgit market was a bit quiet ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration, which starts tomorrow.
Chief market strategist of AxiCorp, Stephen Innes, said in a note that the flu scare has been a hiccup in the overall market bullishness.
He expected inflows to pick up after the Lunar New Year when the market returns its focus to US-China “phase one” trade deal, which marked a modest but promising start to lower US-China trade tensions.
“But over the short term, local traders will keep one eye on investors’ appetite for the Japanese yen as a haven and Singaporean dollar due to its proximity, which could be an ideal proxy lens to view the Malaysian market sentiment over the near term,” he added.
Overall, the ringgit was also traded lower against other major currencies.
It fell to 3.0138/0171 against the Singapore dollar from 3.0122/0156 yesterday, and depreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7130/7171 versus 3.6965/6995 yesterday.
The local currency also slipped against the euro to 4.5086/5135 compared with 4.5077/5126 yesterday and fell against the British pound to 5.3413/3469 from 5.3085/3140 previously. — Bernama