NO RESPITE FOR ‘WORST FINANCE MINISTER’ NAJIB : RINGGIT KICKS OFF THE NEW YEAR ON SOFT NOTE

KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit kicked off the first day of trading in the new year on a soft note against the stronger US dollar, extending the losses seen on the last day of trading in 2016.

At 9 am(0100gmt) Tuesday, the ringgit was quoted at 4.4850/4890 against the US dollar compared with 4.4845/4875 on Dec 30, 3016.

The risk appetite for the ringgit remained weak as investors awaited fresh catalyst to spur buying interest ahead of the prospect of further rise in US interest rates this year.Interest rates were last raised by 25 basis points in the United States on Dec 14, 2016. A dealer said some traders remained on the sidelines, extending their long year-end break, partly aided of the ringgit/dollar weakness.

The local unit, however, traded firmer against a basket of major currencies.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0914/0963 from 3.1043/1085 on Dec 30, 2016 and increased against the yen to 3.8229/8273 from 3.8375/8411 previously.

The currency appreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.5130/5183 from 5.5213/5259 last Friday and strengthened against the euro to 4.6953/7013 from 4.7482/7523.
– BERNAMA