Ringgit lower at opening, as rising US treasury yields strengthen US dollar

Ringgit lower at opening, as rising US treasury yields strengthen US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower versus the US dollar on the strengthening of the greenback due to rising US Treasury yields that continued to test cross-asset risk sentiment, with the US Congress on the cusp of sending a US$1.9 trillion stimulus bill to President Joe Biden for sign off, dealers said.

At 9 am, the local currency slipped to 4.0750/0780 against the US dollar from 4.0720/0760 at Friday’s close. Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said with Friday’s US employment report revealing a stronger-than-expected jobs recovery in February, consensus expectations for the US gross domestic product growth this year are increasing, hence a weaker ringgit.

However, he cautioned that oil prices spiked higher this morning after Iran-backed Houthi rebels unleashed a coordinated attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and military bases.

“With OPEC pursuing a tight oil policy and US shale oil inelastic supply response to higher prices, any disruption to the Middle East supply chain could shoot oil prices considerably higher (providing support to the local note),” he said.

Brent crude oil rose 2.02 per cent to US$70.76 per barrel.Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against other major currencies.

The local note depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0379/0412 from 3.0359/0395 on Friday and fell against the Japanese yen to 3.7599/7630 from 3.7544/7584.

The ringgit decreased versus the British pound to 5.6455/6513 from 5.6267/6338 and slipped against the euro to 4.8598/8651 from 4.8563/8627.– BERNAMA