Ringgit hits new low, goes below 3.05 against Singapore dollar

A man checking exchange rates at a currency exchange store om Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, on Aug 25, 2015.
A man checking exchange rates at a currency exchange store om Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, on Aug 25, 2015.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - The Malaysian ringgit continued its freefall after foreign exchange markets opened on Wednesday (Aug 26), sinking to new lows below 3.05 to the Singapore dollar.

At 8.25 am, the ringgit was trading at 3.0549 to the Singdollar, significantly lower than its close of 3.0154 on Tuesday.

The currency pared some of its losses to trade at 3.0470 at 8.37 am.

The ringgit crossed the psychologically key level of 3.00 against the Singdollar on Monday, a day when investors fled global stock, emerging currency and commodity markets, on deepening fears over China's slowing economy.

The currency also slumped to below a 17-year low against the US dollar on Wednesday. It was trading at 4.2875 against the greenback at 8.46 am, after falling to as low as 4.2995, the lowest since July 1998. It has weakened more than 18 per cent in 2015.

The ringgit has been battered by a slowing economy and a political scandal involving the transfer of funds to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The 58 per cent drop in Brent crude in a year is hurting revenue for oil-exporting Malaysia amid an emerging-market sell-off spurred by the yuan's devaluation this month (August).

The ringgit's freefall has seen a surge in demand for the currency in Singapore, with many people flocking to money changers, some of whom have said they have either run out of the currency or are low on stock.