Ringgit 'likely to trade lower versus US dollar'

Malaysian ringgit banknotes of various denominations are arranged for a photograph in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 2, 2013.
Malaysian ringgit banknotes of various denominations are arranged for a photograph in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 2, 2013.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR • The ringgit will likely trade lower versus the greenback this week on expectations of lower commodity prices, it has been reported.

The decline in global oil prices has affected the currencies of commodity-dependent countries including Malaysia, Bernama news agency reported.

Last Wednesday, the benchmark oil, Brent crude, fell by over 3 per cent towards 11-year lows after data showed an increase in US crude supplies. Bernama, quoting an unnamed dealer, said this has caused the greenback to trade lower and influence other emerging currencies, including the ringgit.

"The local note will likely trade downwards if the commodity prices continue to weaken," he said.

It was reported that Brent crude went down by US$1.33, or 3.5 per cent, to US$36.46 a barrel.

An earlier report from Bloomberg quoted analysts as predicting more weakness this year for the ringgit, Asia's worst-performing currency last year, as the US Federal Reserve adds to this month's increase in US interest rates and as the slowdown in China saps demand for commodities.

The ringgit slumped 19 per cent last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline 'Ringgit 'likely to trade lower versus US dollar''. Print Edition | Subscribe