Ringgit rises on Permai announcement


KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today, boosted by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement of the RM15 billion Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI) package yesterday, as well as higher crude oil prices.

At 9.13 am, the ringgit rose to 4.0450/0490 versus the greenback, from 4.0500/0540 at Monday’s close.

A dealer said that crude oil prices are expected to stabilise in line with the progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

"Investors’ sentiment will be positive, hence, a steadier local currency,” he said.

The prime minister had announced the RM15 billion PERMAI assistance package on Monday, which comprised 22 initiatives to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and cushion its impact on the people as well as the economy.

The package is anchored on three goals, namely, to fight the pandemic, preserving the people’s welfare, and supporting business continuity.

Meanwhile, traders will be paying close attention to Bank Negara Malaysia’s two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting that starts today.

Analysts have projected that the central bank would make another interest rate cut in response to the potential economic impact from the re-implementation of the Movement Control Order and the declaration of the nationwide state of emergency.

Despite its improved performance against the greenback, the local note had opened mostly lower against a basket of major currencies except the yen, where it rose to 3.8984/9027 from 3.9010/9056 at the close yesterday.

The ringgit weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0418/0467 from 3.0378/0417 yesterday, eased vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4988/5046 from 5.4784/4855 previously and fell versus the euro to 4.8888/8940 from 4.8847/8903. - Bernama
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