KUALA LUMPUR, April 27—The ringgit ended on a bearish note again as the demand for the safe haven US dollar continues to dominate amid anxiety over the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and mounting fears over China’s growth risks.

Uncertainty in the oil market that leaves prices stuck at US$100 (RM436) per barrel also weighed on the local currency.

At 6 pm, the local note eased 0.06 per cent to 4.3565/3605 versus the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.3545/3570.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid expects the ringgit to remain weak in the near term.

“Risk aversion remains prevalent in the foreign exchange market today. The US Dollar Index (DXY) rose further to 102.617 points, “ he told Bernama.

China is facing a slowdown in growth after a series of lockdowns amid growing Covid-19 cases, and such jitters could lead to a further downtrend in the Malaysian currency.

The second largest economy in the world has shifted its Covid-19 focus to Beijing, with residents already beginning to stock food and essential supplies in anticipation of a citywide lockdown.

China has continued to be Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2009, with total trade volume reaching US$176.8bil (RM740bil) in 2021, or year-on-year growth of 34.5 per cent amid the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country also remains Malaysia’s largest import source destination.

Overall, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local note rose versus the Japanese yen to 3.4056/4090 from yesterday’s close of 3.4065/4087 yesterday and improved against the euro to 4.6236/6278 from 4.6532/6559.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1592/1609 from yesterday’s close of 3.1697/1720 and increased vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4844/4894 from 5.5359/5391. — Bernama