Ringgit slides over ‘emergency’ rumours as US dollar continues to strengthen

Ringgit notes are seen at a money changer in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2018. — Bernama pic
Ringgit notes are seen at a money changer in Kuala Lumpur June 20, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The ringgit continued to soften against the US dollar with uncertainties over the US stimulus deal and in the domestic political landscape contributing to a risk-off mood.

At 6pm, the local currency stood at 4.1500/1600 versus the greenback compared with 4.1440/1480 at Thursday’s close.

Bank Islam chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the greenback was gaining strength as investors kept their eyes on the progress of the Covid-19 relief package deal.

In addition, he said, the domestic political landscape was also “quite colourful” with various talks.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin met with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today.

Muhyiddin had earlier chaired the cabinet meeting in Perdana Putra, Putrajaya, to discuss current issues and government affairs, while the media speculated about a possible declaration of a state of emergency in a move to combat Covid-19 impact to economy.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the dollar could strengthen further versus the ringgit until clarity on this matter was offered up.

“I think the ringgit selloff will be capped as the government knows how to handle this situation quickly and snuff out the hot spots,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded lower against other major currencies at the close today.

It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0593/0678 from Thursday’s close of 3.0531/0567 and decreased against the British pound to 5.4286/4434 from 5.4274/4331.

The local currency also slipped versus the yen to 3.9664/9771 from 3.9565/9610 yesterday and weakened against the euro to 4.9153/9288 from 4.9028/9092. — Bernama

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