Ringgit slips as daily Covid-19 cases climbs

A Malaysia Ringgit note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. — Reuters pic
A Malaysia Ringgit note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The ringgit slipped but managed to hold at the 4.12-point level against the US dollar at the opening, as demand for the local currency was hampered by a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Malaysia reported 2,148 cases new Covid-19 cases on Thursday. The last time the country passed the 2,000-mark was on March 5, with 2,154 cases.

At 9am, the local note shed 50 basis points to 4.1280/1330 against the greenback from 4.1230/1260 at Thursday's close.

However, losses in the ringgit were capped by falling US bond yields and steady crude oil prices.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the US bond yields had surprisingly fallen even in the face of powerful US retail sales data for March 2021.

"This is very good for risk sentiment and Asian foreign exchange, and the ringgit should continue to benefit from the falling US yields," he told Bernama.

Innes added that the higher and stable crude prices, of which the international benchmark Brent stayed above US$66.90 per barrel currently, also supported the local currency performance.

Against other major currencies, the ringgit was mostly lower except versus the euro.

It weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0903/0952 from 3.0893/0923 on Thursday, depreciated against the yen to 3.7945/8001 from 3.7906/7937, but rose against the pound to 5.6834/6907 from 5.6860/6906.

Vis-a-vis the euro, it advanced to 4.9358/9422 from 4.9381/9434 yesterday. — Bernama

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