KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed marginally higher against the US dollar today, tracking the performance of regional peers amid concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

At 6pm, the ringgit was quoted at 4.1360/1400 versus the greenback from 4.1390/1420 on Thursday.

FXTM market analyst Han Tan said investors would be monitoring the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak in the coming weeks, with Asian assets searching for a solid foothold in the fluid situation.

“Asian currencies are expected to be called upon to help alleviate the pressures on the affected economies, which could mean more softness ahead for the Asian foreign exchange,” he said.

Tan noted that the US dollar has been on a steady climb this year, fuelled by the US economic resilience.

“Investors will be combing through the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in ascertaining whether the dollar deserves to be pushed even higher over the coming days.

“Investors are still forecasting that any Federal Reserve rate adjustments would only happen in the latter half of 2020, and such expectations could form the base for more dollar gains in the near-term,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies, except against the British pound, where it fell to 5.3904/3973 from 5.3683/3730 recorded at Thursday’s close.

The local currency increased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.4851/4902 from 4.5041/5082 yesterday, appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 2.9751/9797 from 2.9824/9852 and rose against the Japanese yen to 3.7665/7705 from 3.7716/7747. – Feb 14, 2020, Bernama

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