Ringgit opens easier amid ongoing Covid struggles


KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened easier against the US dollar on Monday as the local currency continued to struggle amid concerns over the COVID-19 death toll, mobility restrictions and vaccination deployment, all of which have surfaced as short-term threats to the local economy.

At 9am, the local currency eased to 4.1340/1370 against the greenback from last Wednesday’s close of 4.1230/1280.

ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US dollar and ringgit have been moving sideways since last week, when the market became more concerned with rising US inflation and its potential impact on the US dollar in the long term.

"Lack of important macroeconomic events today could lead to further sideways moves and from a technical point of view. If the price breaks above the 4.1300 level, the market could move higher to hit 4.1500,” he said.

Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management global managing partner Stephen Innes said the ringgit direction would be determined by the US Federal Reserves debate and the local COVID-19 epidemic curve.

"The worrying rise in case counts in Malaysia last week will continue to weigh on the local unit sentiment,” he told Bernama.

Innes also said that the local note was unable to capitalise on the softer US dollar sentiment as local traders continued looking over their shoulder at the COVID-19 case count ledger.

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

The ringgit appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0969/1003 from last Wednesday's 3.1023/1073, improved vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.8223/8282 from 5.8279/8353, and strengthened against the yen to 3.7771/7808 from 3.7909/7966.

However, it fell against the euro to 5.0154/0194 from 5.0028/0102 previously.

The local forex market resumed its trading today after Aidilfitri celebrations last Thursday and Friday. - Bernama

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