KUALA LUMPUR,. The ringgit opened lower against the greenback today, amid rising geopolitical concerns over the South China Sea.
At 9am, the local unit stood at 4.1820/1850 against the US dollar from 4.1800/1840 at yesterday’s close.
A dealer said tensions over the South China Sea had been on the rise since last week’s remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping to concentrate preparations on fighting a war to his military commanders in Guangdong province.
“Tensions have piled up and the recent remarks by the US on the trade war with China has only worsened the situation,” he told Bernama.
On the local front, weaker crude oil prices caused the ringgit to slide with the benchmark Brent crude recording US$76.31 (RM319.34) per barrel compared to US$76.77 per barrel yesterday.
“Besides lower oil prices, investors are also awaiting the 2019 Budget announcement this Friday. Till then, demand for the ringgit will continue to be subdued,” the dealer said.
The local unit, however, traded higher against other major currencies.
The ringgit rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0180/0212 from 3.0194/0236 yesterday, vis-a-vis the euro, it appreciated to 4.7424/7475 from 4.7497/7560.
It increased against the British pound to 5.3128/3187 from 5.3349/3417 and improved against the Japanese yen to 3.6930/3960 from 3.7050/7095. ? Bernama