KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended yesterday’s downtrend to opened easier against the US dollar this morning as the greenback strengthened amid talks of delay to US-China summit, offsetting several better-than-expected local economic data.
At 9 am, the ringgit stood at 4.0900/0940 against the US dollar from 4.0890/0940 at the close yesterday.
It was reported that a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the ongoing trade war, supposedly this month, would be delayed to April at the earliest.
“External developments dominated sentiment in the local market despite good news at the local front.
“Trade deal between the US and China is expected to be delayed until April, leaving investors on the edge and this uncertainty had pushed them to seek the US dollar as a safe-haven asset,” he told Bernama.
On other external development, British lawmakers voted to delay the exit from the European Union.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s industrial production grew faster than expected in January 2018, rising 3.2 per cent year-on-year (YoY), thanks to the increase in the index of electricity and manufacturing of 7.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.
The mining index, however, posted a downtrend of 0.9 per cent, dampened by the decrease in the crude oil index.
Manufacturing sales in January rose seven per cent YoY to RM72.5 billion on the back of an increase in petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products, transport equipment and other manufactures products and electrical and electronics products.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher.
It rose against the Japanese yen to 3.6564/6609 from 3.6594/6648 on Thursday, strengthened versus the British pound to 5.4160/4217 from 5.4200/4274, and increased against the euro to 4.6229/6295 from 4.6259/6320.
The local currency, however, depreciated vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.0167/0198 from 3.0162/0201 yesterday. — Bernama