KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar this morning as the greenback weakened due to the rising geopolitical tension between the United States (US) and China.
At 9.04 am, the local currency stood at 4.450/4580 versus the greenback compared to Thursday's close of 4.4565/4590.
ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the investors remained apprehensive following the military exercises that China has been carrying out near the Taiwan border.
According to news reports, 22 Chinese jets had crossed Taiwan's air defence zone and the Taiwan Strait 'median line’.
Diniz also noted that the dollar depreciated despite the United States (US) Initial Jobless Claims data showing that the US job market remained strong.
Even though the initial claims for unemployment insurance climbed to 260,000 last week, slightly above expectations, the total number is still at a historically low level, he said.
"Still, a more accurate picture of the labour market will be painted on Friday by the release of the Non-Farm Payroll data,” he said to Bernama.
He added that job creation in the US is an important indicator because it sheds light on the state of the world's largest economy, which can affect global markets.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.
The local currency fell against the Japanese yen to 3.3499/3526 from Thursday's close of 3.3228/3251, depreciated versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2367/2394 from 3.2310/2333 and eased against the euro to 4.5775/5806 from 4.5398/5424 previously.
However, the ringgit rose vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4070/4107 from 5.4271/4302 on Thursday. - Bernama