Ringgit extends gains against US dollar in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The ringgit extended its gains against the US dollar at the opening session Thursday as the government and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) or Central Bank of Malaysia stepped in to cushion the economic impact of Covid-19 on the country due to the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) announced Wednesday.    

At 9.00 am, the local note stood at 4.3800/3950 against the greenback compared with Wednesday’s closing of 4.3838/3670.

AxiCorp global chief market strategist Stephen Innes said the improved sentiment came despite the Malaysian economy having to pay a considerable upfront cost for the extension of the MCO. 

“Still, with a robust policy backstop from the BNM and government support, the thought is the economy will return to standard form quicker. 

“It is an exciting dynamic that is evolving in Asian currency markets as investors like the more draconian lockdown measures, which will see the virus pass quicker,” he said in a note Thursday.

On Wednesday, the central bank announced an automatic moratorium on all repayment of loans to small and medium enterprises and individuals for six months beginning on April 1. 

However, this does not include credit card balances. 

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mixed against other major currencies. 

Against the Singapore dollar, the domestic unit rose to 3.0242/0356 from 3.0328/0364 and appreciated against the British pound to 5.1969/2164 from 5.2473/2530. 

The ringgit fell against the yen to 3.9545/9691 from 3.9334/9384 and declined against the euro to 4.7825/8007 from 4.7516/7577.