Ringgit eases further versus US dollar amid market uncertainties

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, March 24 — The ringgit closed easier against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to regain its safe-haven currency appeal amid uncertainties surrounding the market.

At 6pm, the local currency fell to 4.2240/2250 versus the US dollar from 4.2220/2255 at yesterday’s close.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the US dollar continued to find its strength on the back of hawkish stance from the US Federal Reserve (Fed), while concerns surrounding the geopolitical landscape are leading to risk aversion mode, hence increasing the demand for safe-haven assets.

“It is hard to rationalise a weaker ringgit in the context of over US$120 (RM507 a barrel) Brent crude oil price, but such is the state of Asia foreign exchange markets that tend to have a difficult time against the backdrop of higher US yields.

“Unless there is a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, I think the US dollar will likely get stronger over the next couple of weeks as the Fed continues to front-load interest rates,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies except with the Singapore dollar.

The local unit rose against the British pound to 5.5651/5664 from 5.5849/5895 yesterday and improved versus the euro to 4.6426/6437 from 4.6446/6485 yesterday.

The ringgit had also appreciated vis-a-vis the yen to 3.4714/4725 from yesterday’s close of 3.4893/4924, but fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.1107/1119 from 3.1094/1122 previously. — Bernama