KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today amid a decline in global crude oil prices as well as heightened Covid-19 concerns.
The local currency fell to 4.2590/2650 against the greenback from 4.2300/2350 at yesterday’s close.
A dealer said US President Donald Trump announced measures to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak that included a ban on travellers to the United States from Europe for the next 30 days.
“Trump also announced that he would ask Congress for legislative action to provide payroll tax relief, as well as other measures for several groups impacted by the virus,” he said.
That comes after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday.
He said oil prices fell again on Thursday, adding to steep losses in the previous session after the US banned travel from Europe following a declaration that the Covid-19 outbreak is now a pandemic.
“The threat of a flood of cheap supply compounded market concerns as Saudi Arabia promised to raise oil output to a record high in a standoff with Russia,” he added.
International benchmark Brent crude oil declined 5.14% to US$ 33.95 per barrel at the close.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit was traded lower.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0365/0412 from Wednesday’s close of 3.0425/0468 and decreased versus the Japanese yen to 4.1007/1077 from 4.0263/0322.
The local unit appreciated against the British pound to 5.4289/4383 from 5.4812/4894 and fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7884/7877 from 4.7812/7877 yesterday. – Bernama