KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar on Wednesday as ongoing sentiment over the hike of Covid-19 cases continues to weigh down the currency, despite a higher oil price, traders said.
At 6pm, the local note slipped by 80 basis points to 4.2320/2345 versus the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.2240/2265.
OANDA Asia Pacific senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said investors were seen continuing to move out of ASEAN markets fearing that the Covid-19 Delta variant will delay the region’s post-pandemic recovery.
Malaysia’s daily Covid-19 cases are still hovering above the 10,000 mark to record 11,985 new cases today, bringing the cumulative total to 951,884 cases.
“Assuming the negative sentiment persists should the cases remain high in Malaysia, we expect the US dollar against ringgit to test 4.2500 this week and 4.3000 next week,“ he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said despite the higher Brent crude oil price on Wednesday which is supposed to have a relationship with the ringgit, the fear from the new Covid-19 variants has outweighed the gains in the oil market.
At press time, the benchmark Brent crude oil rose by 1.15 per cent to US$70.15 per barrel.
At the close, the local note was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
The ringgit strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0938/0961 from 3.1034/1057 on Monday’s close, improved against the British pound at 5.7695/7729 from 5.8038/8072 and appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.8448/8474 from 3.8470/8493 previously.
However, the local unit weakened vis-a-vis the euro to 4.9819/9849 from 4.9750/9780 at Monday’s close.
The market was closed on Tuesday for the Aidiladha celebration. — Bernama