Ringgit slips amid US-China trade war uncertainty

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar for the second straight day as uncertainty surrounding the ongoing United States and China trade war continued to dominate market sentiment.

At 6pm, the ringgit eased to 4.1560/1590 against the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.1520/1550.

AxiTrade chief Asia market strategist Stephen Innes said the ringgit had weakened further due to the lack of positive trade news headlines involving US President Donald Trump yesterday, which initially turned risk sentiment sour as the outlook for a US-China trade deal worsened.

In addition, investors also reacted negatively to the weaker-than-expected Chinese industrial production data for October, with output growing 4.7% year-on-year.

“I expect range trading to persist with 4.16 likely to act as a strong resistance ahead of the GDP announcement, with market focus remaining on the US-China trade talks.

“Unless the GDP data is shockingly good, it will likely play second fiddle to headlines around the US-China trade war,“ he told Bernama.

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus is scheduled to announce the third-quarter GDP on Friday.

The country’s GDP, which expanded 4.5% in the first quarter, picked up pace in the second quarter with a 4.9% growth.

“We expect Malaysia’s Q3 GDP growth to slow to 4.5% year-on-year, led mostly by a drop in private consumption,“ Innes said.

The local note was traded mostly lower against other major currencies.

The ringgit fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0492/0532 from 3.0464/0498 yesterday and went down vis-a-vis the the yen to 3.8269/8300 from 3.8123/8158.

It also weakened against the British pound to 5.3396/3451 compared with Wednesday’s close of 5.3357/3413, but it firmed up against the euro to 4.5716/5757 from 4.5726/5776. – Bernama

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