By Sharifah Pirdaus Syed Ali
KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 -- The ringgit ended lower against the greenback for the second consecutive day today on low risk appetite.
The local currency retreated from a stronger opening which was supported by higher Brent crude oil prices, a dealer said.
At 6 pm, the local currency stood at 4.1200/1260 against the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.1030/1055.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said the ringgit depreciated further on Tuesday as sentiment across Asia remained subdued amid new COVID-19 waves which were hitting India and some Southeast Asian countries, threatening millions of lives and economic recovery in the region.
"This outweighed the positive economic data points such as Malaysia's manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which rose to a nine-year high of 53.9 in April 2021 from 49.9 in March 2021, the highest since July 2012," he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management global managing partner Stephen Innes said it had been a worrying day for Malaysia's reopening narrative with Movement Control Order 3.0 hanging ominously like a dark cloud over the local capital market.
"The ringgit has traded poorly as COVID concerns rear their ugly head again, leaving the government with little option but to lock down segments of the economy,” he said.
On another note, he added the US dollar was trading stronger versus Group of 10 (G10) currencies as foreign exchange traders may be positioning for a blockbuster US jobs report on Friday that could send US bond yields higher and this could weigh on ringgit sentiment further.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was also traded lower against other major currencies.
It slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.0852/0902 from 3.0803/0831 on Monday and depreciated versus the euro to 4.9473/9549 from 4.9441/9479.
The local note fell versus the yen to 3.7653/7711 against 3.7463/7490 previously and was lower vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.7181/7273 from 5.6835/6882.