Biden's stimulus rally, higher crude oil push ringgit higher

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was higher versus the US dollar at opening on Wednesday, pushed by the US President-elect Joe Biden's stimulus rally, coupled with the comfortably trading Brent crude oil above US$55 per barrel.

At 9.03 am, the ringgit inched up to 4.0460/0510 versus the greenback from 4.0480/0520 at Tuesday’s close.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said this positive sentiment should provide a more inviting backdrop to the local note.

"However, while the incoming Biden administration's focus will be domestic-orientated, another all-time high for China's trade surplus in December (US$78.17 billion) ostensibly supports US foreign policy hawkishness.

"This is not great for Asia’s foreign exchange risk and worth keeping ears and eyes trained on the early tonality of the new administration's views on China’s trade,” he said.

Meanwhile, today marked the end of the Bank Negara Malaysia’s two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting, which started on Tuesday, and the central bank is expected either to make another interest rate cut or maintain it.

Against a basket of major currencies, the ringgit was traded lower.

It fell versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0476/0525 from 3.0443/0482 and down against the yen to 3.8956/9008 from 3.8912/8962.

The local currency also depreciated to 5.5204/5288 from 5.5081/5140 compared with the British pound and slipped to 4.9131/9195 from 4.9058/9114 vis-a-vis the euro. - Bernama

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