KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — The ringgit closed lower today, hitting RM4.40 against the US dollar on global recession concerns, said an analyst.At 6 pm, the local note stood at 4.4030/4060 versus the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.3960/3975.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said although the US dollar was not so much in demand due to global economic growth concerns, sentiments for emerging currencies, including the ringgit, remained weak, triggering a wide sell-off.

The ringgit hit a record low on March 23, 2020 when it reached RM4.447.

“The next move will depend on the economic reopening in China. If China opens up, the ringgit will likely strengthen as export channels will open up and will likely reverse the narrowing trade surplus that fell lower than consensus (estimates),” he told Bernama. “Although US yields are falling, the market is still pricing in a 50 basis points increase at the next US Federal Reserve meeting. Therefore, I do not think the US dollar will sell off too far (off).”

The ringgit also traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

It depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1752/1778 from Wednesday’s close of 3.1713/1728 and weakened versus the British pound to 5.4584/4621 from 5.4554/4573.

The ringgit slid versus the Japanese yen to 3.4495/4524 from 3.4041/4055 but gained vis-a-vis the euro to 4.6223/6254 from 4.6268/6284. — Bernama