KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — The ringgit opened easier against the US dollar on Thursday, retreating from previous gains on lack of buying interest, dragged by softer crude oil prices, said an analyst.
At 9.03 am, the local note was traded at 4.0450/0550 against the greenback compared with Wednesday’s close of 4.0420/0460.
Speaking to Bernama, Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said he expects there would be limited foreign flows or trading in Malaysia’s assets among offshore banks due to the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday beginning Friday.
“So the foreign exchange (FX) market should be relatively quiet today as traders squared off their positions ahead of the long CNY,” he said.
The FX market will be closed tomorrow and trading will resume on Monday.
Meanwhile, CGS CIMB, in a note, said Bank Negara Malaysia’s scheduled announcement on Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2020 later Thursday also influenced market sentiment at the opening as it turned slightly cautious.
“Economists expect Malaysia’s economy to contract up to 5.7 per cent in 2020, as the recession due to Covid-19 will be proven to be the world’s most devastating economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s,” it said.
The local currency was also traded lower against other major currencies.
It decreased against the Singapore dollar to 3.0475/0553 from Wednesday’s 3.0460/0494 and weakened vis-a-vis the euro to 4.9001/9130 from 4.8981/9042 previously.
The ringgit also depreciated against the yen to 3.8671/8770 from 3.8565/8618 and slipped against the British pound to 5.5914/6064 from 5.5913/5980.