Ringgit falls to new record low of 2.97 to Singdollar ahead of foreign reserves data

Against the Singdollar, the ringgit (above) was trading at a new all-time low of 2.9708.
Against the Singdollar, the ringgit (above) was trading at a new all-time low of 2.9708.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Malaysian ringgit fell to a new record low against the Singapore dollar on Friday (Aug 21) as investors awaited foreign exchange reserve data for signs on how much ammunition its central bank has left to defend the currency.

Against the Singdollar, the ringgit was trading at a new all-time low of 2.9708 at about 12pm from its close of 2.9463 on Thursday.

The ringgit also weakened to a fresh 17-year against the US dollar. It was down nearly 1.0 per cent to 4.1845 against the greenback, its weakest since Aug. 31, 1998.

Malaysia will release the reserves data as of mid-August at 6pm today. Its international reserves fell below the US$100 billion mark last month.

A political crisis involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, crashing oil and commodity prices and capital flight from emerging market assets have hit the ringgit hard.

Malaysia is Asia's largest net oil exporter, with oil-related income accounting for over 30 per cent of its revenue. Oil is headed for the longest weekly run of declines in almost three decades amid signs the global glut that drove prices to a six-year low will be prolonged.