Ringgit under pressure as oil retreats and China cuts interest rates
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KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended on a bearish note today amid worries over China’s economic slowdown after it cut interest rates unexpectedly on Monday as the country reported weaker-than-expected industrial production and retail sales figures.
At 6 pm, the local currency slid to 4.4570/4595 versus the greenback from Friday’s close of 4.4435/4455.
A trader said that the yuan, with which the ringgit has a strong correlation, was also under pressure after the People's Bank of China reduced its key policy rates for the first time since January, slashing the one-year medium-term lending facility by 10 basis points to 2.75 per cent.
"It was also reported that China’s surveyed jobless rate for those aged between 16-24 jumped to 19.9 per cent in July from 19.3 per cent in the previous month, a new record high.
"In addition, COVID-19 lockdown fears in China also continued to persist,’’ the trader told Bernama.,
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In the oil market, prices continued to decline following the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) move to lower its oil demand forecast for 2022.
Brent eased US$4.35 to US$93.80 per barrel and the West Texas Intermediate Crude dropped US$4.03 to US$88.06 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It increased against the Singapore dollar at 3.2379/2402 from 3.2406/2428 at Friday’s close, appreciated versus the British pound to 5.3796/3826 from 5.3975/3999 and rose compared against the euro at 4.5488/5514 from 4.5759/5780.
However, the local unit weakened vis-a-vis the Japanese yen at 3.3393/3415 from 3.3292/3310 previously. - Bernama