Ringgit stays flat amid lack of catalysts


KUALA LUMPUR: After closing marginally higher on Wednesday, the ringgit was traded almost unchanged against the US dollar on Thursday morning due to lack of market catalysts to drive the local currency further.

At 9.00 am, the ringgit stood at 4.0400/0440 against the US dollar from Wednesday’s close of 4.0400/0450.

Despite a stablising greenback, market sentiment was somewhat offset by the roll out of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme as it indicates a bright outlook for the economy.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, on Wednesday, spearheaded the programme and became the first person in the country to be injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Putrajaya Health Clinic in Precinct 11.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit would continue to trade in very tight ranges -- more prone to flowing United States rates and the broader US dollar sentiment than soaring crude prices for the time being.

He believes that the domestic growth catalyst needs to pick up for the ringgit momentum to pick up and there is also talk that Bank Negara Malaysia would rather see the ringgit stable around 4.00 against the greenback to improve export circumstances until the domestic economy picks up.

"My feeling is investors want to see some economic progress on the ground before committing full bore back into the long ringgit trade.

"Longer-term prospects look great for the ringgit on the back of soaring energy prices and robust export sector but for immediate concerns, the investors may need more encouragement from a domestic economic data rebound,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies.

It rose against the Japanese yen to 3.8088/8129 from 3.8192/8243 on Wednesday, strengthened versus the British pound to 5.7134/7198 from 5.7210/7292, and increased against the euro to 4.9126/9191 from 4.9134/9203 on Wednesday.

The local currency, however, depreciated vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.0627/0669 from 3.0608/0656 previously. - Bernama

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