Ringgit extends gains against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended gains against the US dollar for the second consecutive day, lifted by improved risk appetite for the local currency amid weak greenback sentiment, dealers said.

The local note strengthened to 4.1575/1625 against the greenback from 4.1780/1830 at yesterday’s close.

A dealer said the US currency was under pressure on anticipation of more monetary policy easing by the Federal Reserve after the central bank surprisingly cut its benchmark rate by 50 basis points on Tuesday morning.

The reduction, which came two weeks before the official policy meeting decision, signaled that the economy was hungry for a booster to offset the Covid-19 impact, he said.

Meanwhile, AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit was still vulnerable to political noise, as newly-appointed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had postponed the start of the parliamentary session, which was initially scheduled for March 9, by two months.

“The rise in political noise tends to overshadow more near-term positive factors like Asia’s key bellwether currency barometer,” he told Bernama.

Against other major currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0018/0056 from yesterday’s close of 3.0179/0220, increased versus the Japanese yen to 3.8870/8927 from 3.8887/8944 and firmed against the euro to 4.6452/6512 from 4.6606/6678 previously.

The local unit, however, depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.3707/3788 from 5.3403/3484 yesterday. - Bernama