KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today, in tandem with the weaker equity market performance, as the greenback remained firm with an upside bias.
At 6pm, the ringgit fell to 4.1590/1620 versus the greenback from 4.1560/1600 last Friday.
A dealer said the US dollar remained firmly supported by expectation that the US interest rates will likely continue to increase given the strong US economic backdrop.
Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said the ringgit’s downtrend was due to the negative markets bias ahead of the 2019 Budget.
“The move by the government to slash economic growth targets and deserting its plans to balance the budget by 2020, is not helping the financial markets in the country.
“The ringgit was weighted down ahead the upcoming budget. It remains the most significant overhang at the moment,” he said.
At the close, the ringgit traded mostly lower against other major currencies, except the Japanese yen.
It slipped against the British pound to 5.4183/4239 from 5.4132/4205 and fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0166/0194 from 3.0129/0169 last Friday.
The local currency depreciated against the euro to 4.7841/7880 from 4.7619/7674 last Friday but vis-a-vis the Japanese yen, the ringgit improved to 3.6857/6887 from 3.6982/7027 previously. — Bernama