KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar for a second consecutive day today with the greenback somewhat stronger despite the risk-on mood in the equity market, a dealer said.
At 6pm, the ringgit declined to 4.0570/0600 against the US dollar from 4.0550/0580 at Monday’s close.
Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said a more stable US dollar, lower oil prices, and an unexpected deeper slide in Malaysia’s February Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) weighed on the ringgit and local equity market sentiment.
“Indeed, the dreary PMI print underscores Malaysia’s challenges as it seeks a sustainable recovery from the shattering Covid-19 pandemic blow,” he told Bernama.
The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing PMI dipped to 47.7 in February from 48.9 in January.
Meanwhile, OANDA Asia Pacific senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said the dollar index rose by 0.20 per cent overnight and has risen by another 0.18 per cent to 91.20 in Asian trading hours.
“Asian currencies are generally on the back foot today as well in the face of the US dollar’s strength. As for oil prices, with the speculative market heavily long, the past three sessions’ falls look corrective ahead of Thursday’s OPEC+ meeting,” he added.
Halley said expectations are rising that OPEC+ will ease production cuts further.
“The clamour among some members to refill their coffers is likely to be a more powerful force than complaints externally about tight supplies. In the interests of OPEC+ discipline, Saudi Arabia is likely to accede,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ringgit strengthened against other major currencies.
It rose slightly against the Singapore dollar to 3.0433/0462 from 3.0441/0470 at the close on Monday and increased against the euro to 4.8708/8748 from 4.8810/8858 yesterday.
The local currency appreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7948/7987 from 3.7993/7025 and improved versus the British pound to 5.6258/6304 from 5.6547/6601 previously.