KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar and a basket of major currencies today, dragged down by falling oil prices and against the backdrop of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate increase.
At 6pm, the local unit stood at 4.2760/2790 against the greenback, compared with 4.2740/2790 last Friday.
A dealer said global crude oil prices dropped by 14 per cent from end of May this year, with the benchmark Brent crude futures falling to US$47.21 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid to US$44.55 a barrel.
“The declining crude oil prices has affected the local currency, as crude oil is one of Malaysia’s main exports,” he said.
He said the weaker ringgit was also affected by the Fed rate increase by 0.25 per cent to 1.25 per cent last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, FXTM Corporate Development and Market Research Vice-President, Jameel Ahmad, said the ringgit’s performance throughout this week would be largely dependent on the US dollar.
However, he noted that greenback traders were not really buying into the idea that the Fed would be raising the interest rates as many times as the latest policy meeting indicated.
“But repeated signals from Fed members might provide some risks to the emerging markets,” he said.
At the close, the ringgit fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0921/0947 from 3.0893/0933 last Friday and shed against the yen to 3.8526/8567 from 3.8394/8442 last week.
It eased against the British pound to 5.4746/4805 from 5.4549/4617 on Friday and declined against the euro at 4.7853/7903 from 4.7741/7801 last week. — Bernama