Ringgit opens firmer on higher crude prices

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened firmer against the US dollar today on renewed buying interest, tracking the steadier oil prices, said an analyst.

At 9 am, the local currency stood at 4.0985/1015 against the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.1000/1050.

Markets were closed on Thursday for Nuzul al-Quran public holiday.

On Thursday, benchmark Brent crude rose 1.61 per cent to US$68.41-- a six-week high as the US economy’s brighter outlook and oil demand offset bearish demand prospects from the COVID crisis in India.

Locally, the analyst also said Malaysia's positive trade performance data for March 2021, coupled with the resumption of economic activities and global stimulus spending helped lift the sentiments for the local currency.

Malaysia’s trade performance continued to be on an upward trajectory in March, registering the highest monthly value for trade, exports and imports, with total trade expanding by 25.6 per cent year-on-year to RM185.74 billion.

Meanwhile, the United States (US) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has decided to maintain its policy interest rate near zero following its meeting on Wednesday.

OANDA's market analyst Kenny Fisher noted that when US Federal Reserve’s chair Jerome Powell remarked that it was too early to talk about the tapering interest rate, the US Treasury yield started to decline, consequently dragging the US dollar lower.

"However, the positive US gross domestic product report has resulted in gains for the US dollar, and the greenback could continue to improve if upcoming US data is positive," he said in OANDA’s Market Pulse note today.

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

It appreciated against Singapore dollar to 3.0902/0927 from 3.0911/0955 on Wednesday and rose versus the Japanese yen to 3.7635/7673 against 3.7646/7695 previously.

The local note narrowed versus the euro to 4.9678/9731 from 4.9467/9539, and eased against the British pound to 5.7182/7232 from 5.6941/7018 previously. - Bernama
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