KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 ― The ringgit traded lower against the US dollar today despite a broad overnight greenback retracement with the focus back to the sliding crude oil prices and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) + meeting tomorrow.
At 9.05am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.3550/3650 against the US dollar compared with yesterday's close of 4.3350/3450.
Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said mixed feelings over possible cuts in oil production, declining Covid-19 fatalities in certain major economies and the overnight drop in major equity indices on the Wall Street may see the forex markets stay guarded.
“The notion that the economy will not swiftly normalise even though lockdown measures are lifted also suggests risk aversion would continue to prevail.
“In that sense, ringgit is expected to stay weak against the US dollar between RM4.35 and RM4.37 as investors would stay guarded, preferring the safe-haven currencies,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit remained held hostage and tethered to the oil price yo-yo as all ears and eyes remain trained on the Opec+ meeting.
On another note, the outlook remains slightly positive by the government's stimulus efforts and signs that the Covid-19 crisis is abating in some hot spots around the world, he said.
“But more important in this view is that, China is coming back to life, so there should be a decent export market awaiting the Malaysian industry when the people emerging from the movement control order (MCO),” he said.
The ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
It decreased vis-a-vis the euro at 4.7343/7469 compared to the 4.7173/7291 on yesterday’s close and fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0527/0608 from 3.0415/0496.
The local unit slipped versus the Japanese yen to 4.0053/0156 from 3.9723/9826 and depreciated against the British pound to 5.3654/3794 from 5.3376/3526 yesterday. ― Bernama