Ringgit rebounds as Asian currencies rise on market optimism

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit rebounded today to close higher against the US dollar, supported by strong optimism in the regional markets on economic recovery as well as a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

As at 6pm, the local note was quoted at 4.3440/3510 compared with yesterday’s close of 4.3660/3740.

An analyst said this marked the end of the five-day decline of the ringgit against the greenback. It rose 0.5% as the local market started to pick up following the relaxation of the Movement Control Order.

“People are now back at work and the health authorities have managed to contain the number of local transmission cases of Covid-19.

“This has led to strong market optimism in the local economy,” she said.

Malaysia today reported 37 new Covid-19 cases, 31 recoveries and one death.

On the regional markets, she said the Thai baht, South Korean won and Taiwan dollar had also strengthened against the greenback in line with most Asian currencies after encouraging data from an early-stage trial for Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine.

According to a Reuters report, South Korean won added 0.5% against the dollar, Thai baht firmed 0.4% and Taiwan dollar inched up 0.15%.

Yesterday, it was reported early data showed drugmaker Moderna’s MRNA.O experimental Covid-19 vaccine appeared to be safe and showed promise in a small group of healthy volunteers.

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

The local currency slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.0648/0706 from 3.0606/0667 on Monday, but rose versus the Japanese yen to 4.0387/0456 from 4.0686/0768.

The ringgit, meanwhile, was unchanged against the euro at 4.7179/7283, and edged lower against the British pound to 5.3166/3269 from 5.2925/2039 previously. - Bernama