KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar despite the firmer crude oil price, as global concerns on the rising Covid-19 cases continue to trigger some safe-haven flows into the greenback.
At 9 am, the local note stood at 4.1910/1935 against the greenback from 4.1900/1930 on Monday’s close.
OANDA senior market analyst, Edward Moya said with many countries still struggling in the fight against Covid-19, United States (US) stocks edged higher into record territories as investors continue to opt for the US growth story.
“Cases are rising as the Delta Covid-19 variant is spreading across many countries with low vaccination rates, and it serves as a reminder to the rest of the world on how hard it is to defeat this virus,” he told Bernama.
Moya said that investors are still bullish over the stocks, but noted that very little positioning would take place ahead of tomorrow’s key inflation data results and the start of the US earnings season.
Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said the ringgit is expected to remain rangebound between RM4.18 and RM4.19, as sentiment continues to be dampened by high Covid-19 infections in the country.
“However, the local note may have some support as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) have yet to make progress in bridging the divisions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that prevented a deal to raise oil output last week, leading to tightness in oil supply and prospects of higher oil prices,” he added.
At the time of writing, oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.24 per cent to US$75.34 per barrel.
At the opening bell, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.
The local note depreciated vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.1012/1033 from 3.1003/1027 at Monday’s close, slipped versus the British pound to 5.8226/8260 from 5.8082/8123 and fell against the euro to 4.9735/9764 from 4.9668/9704 previously.
However, it appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.7969/7991 from 3.8053/8080 yesterday.