The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar on improved buying demand for the local note, a dealer said. At 9 am, the local note was at 4.1780/1810 versus the greenback from Friday’s 4.1840/1870.

“Our ringgit received a boost following the tabling of 2020 Budget, which not just aimed at improving the country’s economy but also tackling issues faced by the people including job opportunities, ensuring women’s wellbeing and placing more emphasis on education and religious institutions.

“We hope this will further increase the confidence level among foreign investors,” he said.
The ringgit however traded mixed against other major currencies.
Vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar, the local currency went down to 3.0459/0489 from 3.0438/0471 and depreciated to 5.2618/2672 from 5.2292/2346 against the British pound.

The US Commerce Department yesterday released its retail and food services which declined by 0.3 per cent to US$525.6 billion compared with the previous month, its the first retreat in seven months.

This came after the greenback received a boost over the latest US-China trade truce.
Axi Trader Asia-Pacific market strategist Stephen Innes said the calming of the trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies also supported the Chinese yuan and other risk markets.

“This could signal the beginning of a graduated withdrawal of tariffs on both sides of the fence,” Innes said in a note today.

However, the gains in ringgit was limited by the lower oil prices with the Brent crude slid 0.18 per cent to trade at US$60.67 per barrel as at time of writing.

Moving forward, an analyst said investors will be monitoring the upcoming US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week.

On the local front, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has maintained the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 3.00 per cent at its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Thursday, citing the global economy is expanding at a more modest pace amid slower growth in most major advanced and emerging economies.

The last MPC meeting for this year would be held on Nov 5 with many economists believed the central bank might keep the interest rate unchanged.

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