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MARKET

Ringgit closes lower against US dollar on lack of catalysts

22/02/2021 06:53 PM

By Rosemarie Khoo Mohd Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 -- The ringgit traded lower against the US dollar at Monday’s closing due to lack of positive catalysts for the local note, said an analyst. 

At 6 pm, ringgit stood at 4.0400/0450 against the greenback from last Friday’s close of 4.0380/0430.

The analyst said despite firmer oil prices, stronger exports and commodity prices, investors were also assessing Malaysia’s performance in the job market, which is lagging compared with its peers. 

According to the Statistics Department recently, the unemployment rate rose to 4.5 per cent in 2020, the highest rate recorded since 1993 which was at 4.1 per cent. 

“The lack of confidence in the ringgit could also be attributed to the recent Fitch Solutions' outlook for Malaysia, whereby it revised downwards the country's 2021 real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.9 per cent from 10 per cent previously.

“The lockdown measures in the country are likely to cause the unemployment rate to rise and delay the recovery in tourism-related sectors despite the progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that will be implemented in phases,” she told Bernama. 

Meanwhile, the local currency was traded mixed against other major currencies. 

 It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0523/0572 from 3.0489/0534 last Friday and eased against the British pound to 5.6613/6691 from 5.6488/6566.

The ringgit however was better against the euro at 4.8912/8981 from 4.8993/9062 and rose against the yen to 3.8229/8290 from 3.8315/8366 previously.

-- BERNAMA

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