Ringgit up vs greenback on higher crude oil despite MCO 3.0 concerns

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit has opened stronger against the US dollar today, thanks to the rise in Brent crude oil price, dealers said.

At 9 am, the local currency rose to 4.1000/1050 against the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.1030/1055.

At the time of writing, crude oil is trading at US$67.68 per barrel, up by 0.18 per cent.

The ringgit was also supported by the stronger Purchasing Managers' Index, which rose to a nine-year high of 53.9 in April 2021 from 49.9 in March 2021 -- the highest since July 2012.

The local note has been fluctuating against the greenback due to the increasing daily tally of local COVID-19 cases, with analysts voicing their concerns on the Health Ministry’s (MOH) ability to cope with the new wave of infections.

SPI Asset Management global managing partner, Stephen Innes said the sentiment on the ringgit is affected by the MOH's proposal for the reimposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) in states with many COVID-19 cases to curb its spread.

"In Asia, the epidemic curve continued to wear on regional currencies where the COVID-19 clusters and the new Indian variant has come onshore," he added.

Innes’ view was echoed by ActivTrades trader, Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz, who said that the markets have been moving sideways over the last few days because of the uncertainty due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies, with the exception of the euro where it rose to 4.9417/9494 from 4.9441/9479 yesterday.

The local note slipped to 3.0820/0874 vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar from 3.0803/0831 on Monday, fell against the British pound to 5.6974/7060 from 5.6835/6882 yesterday, and declined versus the Japanese yen at 3.7566/7619 against 3.7463/7490 previously. - Bernama

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