KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — The ringgit gave up its recent gains to close lower against the US dollar today, as investors shifted their interest to the greenback after the release of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting minutes on Thursday morning.
At 5pm, the local note fell 120 basis points (bps), or 18.75 per cent, to 4.0760/0810 against the US dollar from 4.0640/0700 on Wednesday.
A dealer said the minutes which showed the US economic growth and labour market remained strong, had triggered market expectations of a possible Fed rate hike this year.
“The more hawkish-than-expected minutes had prompted investors to turn towards the US dollar and dump the riskier emerging market currencies, including the ringgit,” he said.
However, the dealer said the losses were capped by the steadier crude oil prices and positive market sentiment in Malaysia.
At the close, the ringgit also traded lower against other major currencies.
It slid against the Singapore dollar to 3.0121/0163 from 3.0066/0115 on Wednesday and declined against the British pound to 5.3249/3335 from 5.2986/3081.
Vis-a-vis the Japanese yen, the local unit depreciated to 3.6817/6869 from 3.6679/6743 yesterday, and retreated versus the euro to 4.6153/6230 from 4.6106/6195. — Bernama
Source: The Malay Mail Online