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KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar today as the greenback continued to appeal as a safe-haven currency amid the pick-up in risk aversion mood among market participants.
The safe-haven appeal was also reflected in the persistent demand for bonds helped by rising geopolitical tensions, ahead of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impending visit to Taiwan which heightened US-Sino tension, dealers said.
At 6 pm, the local currency eased to 4.4540/4565 versus the US dollar from Monday’s close of 4.4529/4540.
Independent economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ringgit remained in a tight range against the US dollar in the absence of catalysts to boost the local unit in the immediate term.
"The purchasing managers indices (PMI) across the globe generally suggest that the pace of economic expansion is slowing while the major central banks remained adamant to contract the supply of money in a bid to quell inflationary pressures.
"Not to mention, the optic on geopolitical risks are being clouded by Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan which would aggravate the risk of negative reaction from China. The US Dollar Index (DXY) appears to be gaining some traction today to 105.514 points,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said there was lingering panicky mode in Asian markets due to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which raised angst in Asian currencies.,
"The ringgit was traded all day on the weaker side of 4.45 today. In addition, a more hawkish pushback from the US Federal Reserve to current market's dovish pricing, is expected to put further pressure on the Malaysian currency.
"On the macro front, the focus remains on US economic data this week, including the ISM Manufacturing data for July 2022 and the US Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday,” he added.
At the close, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies except the Japanese yen.
The local currency gained against the euro to 4.5587/5612 from 4.5695/5716 on Monday and advanced versus the British pound to 5.4406/4436 from 5.4524/4548 previously.
It also improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.2278/2301 from Monday’s close of 3.2345/2364 but depreciated versus the Japanese yen to 3.4031/4053 from 3.3735/3753 yesterday. - Bernama