KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit snapped its four-day losing streak to opened higher against the US dollar ahead of the fourth-quarter gross domestic product announcement by the Bank Negara Malaysia tomorrow.
At 9am, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1400/1450 against the US dollar from 4.1450/1480 on Monday.
Maybank IB Research, in a note, estimated the country’s economy would expand by 3.8 per cent year-on-year on the 4Q based on drops in mining and agriculture plus a slowdown in manufacturing.
This is despite a pick up in services and a rebound in the construction.
Demand-side indicators, such as retail trade index, capital goods imports and trade surplus, would point to slowdown in domestic demand and net external demand.
"Our current 2020 growth forecast is +4.4 per cent with downward revision risk in view of the fallout from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV),” the research firm said.
Meanwhile, AxiCorp's chief market strategist Stephen Innes said sentiment in the forex market would continue to be weighed by 2019-nCoV.
"The market remains extremely concerned about an escalation of cases outside of China, which could continue to hold back risk until there's a definitive sign the coronavirus transmission has slowed.
"The uncertainty about renewed/secondary outbreaks becomes obsolete,” he said in a note today. The ringgit was also higher against other major currencies.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9816/9863 from 2.9848/9874 on Monday and appreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7695/7750 from 3.7771/7805.
The local currency strengthened against the British pound to 5.3456/3524 from yesterday's 5.3508/3563 and improved versus the euro to 4.5159/5230 from 4.5384/5421 previously. - Bernama