Ringgit closes higher against the US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar today, supported by improved oil prices, said an analyst.

At 6.00 pm, the local note was trading at 4.3150/3250 compared with Monday’s close of 4.3250/3400, as the global benchmark Brent crude was trading 3.52% higher at US$27.35 per barrel.

However, oil prices may not be able to hang on to the level as the Covid-19 pandemic could continue to suppress global demand for crude, an analyst said.

The ringgit was also lifted by China’s positive data, which saw the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for March rebounding strongly to 52.0 from 35.7 in February.

“But this may be temporary. With so many caveats supporting the data, it could be worthless due to a higher level of inaccuracy in reporting, which explains the muted global market reaction,” said AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes.

On another matter, the World Bank in its report released today, said Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract to 0.1%, for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008, compared with the earlier revised GDP forecast of 4.5%.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was also traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar at 3.0240/0325 from 3.0342/0450 at Monday’s close and improved versus the Japanese yen to 3.9773/9876 from 4.0098/0249.

The local unit strengthened vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7353/7480 compared to 4.7869/8052 and appreciated against the British pound to 5.3282/3427 from 5.3569/3764 previously. – March 31, 2020, Bernama

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