Ringgit falls at opening amid coronavirus concerns

  • Forex
  • Monday, 03 Feb 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit headed south again at the opening as the death toll from Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) hits 361, further raising worries that the global's growth could take a big hit from the viral epidemic.

At 9 am, the ringgit stood at 4.1020/2050 against the greenback from 4.0960/1000 at Friday's close.

AxiCorp's chief market strategist Stephen Innes told Bernama, it could be a challenging week for the ringgit due to accelerating capital outflows as fears about the economic impact from the virus grows.

"I'm trying to figure out where we are going in this mess, but ASEAN countries will be the hardest hit.

"Still, then again, I also think they will be a massive beneficiary of the pent up demand when the virus market flu transitory trade set in," he said.

Innes said the market is also watching closely on the People's Bank of China offers up to the currency markets.

The central bank reportedly will supply 1.2 trillion yuan to the money markets to shore up financial markets and assist companies hit by the outbreak.

"We need to see that things are improving. So, I'm suggesting a 4.08-4.12 trading range on the wide," he noted.

Against other major currencies, the ringgit was also traded lower.

It decreased slightly to 3.0040/0080 from 2.9988/3.0032 against the Singapore dollar and depreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7803/7841 from 3.7581/7628 on last Friday.

The local currency also weakened against the euro to 4.5458/5496 versus 4.5167/5227 and slipped against the British pound to 5.4040/4083 from 5.3723/3792 previously. - Bernama

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