KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly higher against the greenback today as global oil prices surged overnight and amid an improvement in commodity price.
At 9am, the ringgit was higher at 4.1700/1730 against the greenback compared with 4.1730/1760 at yesterday's close.
Oil price rose due to the rising tension between the US and Iran over economic, trade and military sanctions, a dealer said.
"The situation has the potential to escalate further which will push the oil price higher. However, the ongoing trade war between the US and China has sort of dampen the market sentiment worldwide," he said to Bernama.
At 9am, oil benchmark Brent Crude climbed to US$72.11 per barrel compared with US$71.04 per barrel yesterday.
He also said that besides oil, commodity prices also saw a pick up especially palm oil.
"With better oil price and stable commodity prices, it would be a catalyst for the ringgit now, pending data of the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data set for release today," he said.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
The local note traded higher against the Singapore dollar at 3.0465/0491 from 3.0471/0497 at Wednesday's close and appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.8093/8130 from 3.8162/8193.
The local currency strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.3568/3615 from 5.3836/3891 and was flat against the euro at 4.6729/6767. - Bernama
Ambank research projects the ringgit to trade between its support level of 4.1586 and 4.1672 while its resistance is pegged at 4.1788 and 4.1869.
It said macroeconomic conditions in the US and China in April suggest signs of synchronised sslowdown even as the trade war dominates headlines.
It added that the release of Malaysia's 1Q GDP is the key focus of the day. It forecasts GDP growth at 4.1% year-on-year, while consensus predicts 4.3%.