KUALA LUMPUR,. The ringgit failed to hold on to gains from yesterday to open lower this morning against the US dollar as investors shifted back towards riskier assets, dealers said.
At 9am, the local unit stood at 4.1690/1730 versus the greenback from 4.1640/1670 recorded at 6pm yesterday.
A dealer said the US dollar also dipped after the mid-term elections which saw the US Congress split between Republicans and Democrats, giving the latter a greater ability to check any major initiatives from President Donald Trump.
“The result raised the prospect of a political gridlock, thus putting the dollar under pressure,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, OANDA Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said the ringgit got a bit of a reprieve overnight on the back of the exuberance of markets to chase down everything and anything with a yield attached to it.
In other words, emerging assets were being snapped up on the assumption that the US Federal Reserve would slow the pace of rate hikes post-election.
On post-budget, Innes expected Malaysia to receive a negative outlook, if not a complete rating downgrade.
“While credit rating downgrades are not the death knell for a currency, it will have a significant short-term impact, and that threat alone will keep the ringgit trading defensively in the weeks ahead.
“But, with the deficit target at the higher end of market expectations, the ringgit could weaken at a faster pace than expected and we could see 4.20+ by year-end,” he added.
He said the main resistance stood at 4.20 with key support at 4.15 against the US dollar.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit traded mostly higher.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0393/0427 from 3.0419/0445 yesterday and strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.6686/6724 from 3.6830/6860.
The local currency appreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4718/4783 from yesterday’s 5.4815/4871 and was firmer against the euro at 4.7652/7706 from 4.7844/7883. — Bernama