KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit continued to ease against the US dollar today as traders’ risk appetite was reduced amid concerns over COVID-19 outbreak, but the local note’s decline was curbed by improving oil prices, dealers said.
The local currency weakened to 4.2350/2400 against the greenback from 4.2130/2170 at yesterday’s close.
A dealer said speculation of more central bank rate cuts and possible fiscal stimulus saw US Treasury yields edge up from historic lows, and oil prices paused after the steepest fall since 1991.
“It was reported that oil prices jumped more than 6.0 per cent on Tuesday, clawing back some ground on hopes that a price war by top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia that sparked the biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War will not be sustained,” he said.
International benchmark Brent crude oil rose 6.14 per cent to US$36.47 per barrel at the close.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit was traded mixed.
It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0481/0526 from Monday’s close of 3.0428/0467 but increased versus the Japanese yen to 4.0472/0531 from 4.1086/1137.
The local unit appreciated against the British pound to 5.5305/5374 from 5.5325/5395 but contracted vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8063/8137 from 4.7982/8044 yesterday.