Malaysia: Ringgit stays higher as US dollar retreats amid Evergrande crisis

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The ringgit stayed higher against the US dollar today as the greenback retreated amid China’s Evergrande Group crisis.

At 6pm, the local note climbed to 4.1835/1850 from 4.1905/1950 at yesterday’s close.

A trader said worries over developments in China’s property sector have lifted tensions ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s tapering decision.

The S&P Global Ratings indicated that the Chinese company was on the brink of default. However, banks such as Barclays PLC, UBS Group AG, and Citi believe that the Evergrande risk is not a “Lehman moment”.

Bank Islam chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the news comes as Evergrande’s interest payments on its bonds will be due on Thursday.

“In that sense, the forex markets are on defensive mode as it also needs to contend with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting with regard to the tapering decision when they meet for two days,” he told Bernama.

At the close, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

The ringgit appreciated versus the British pound to 5.7272/7293 from 5.7339/7400 at yesterday’s close and rose vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.0971/0984 from 3.0979/1017.

The local note appreciated against the yen to 3.8181/8198 from 3.8200/8241 previously but fell to 4.9102/9119 versus the euro from 4.9079/9132. — Bernama