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Ringgit ends easier against US dollar on Omicron variant concerns

 Publish date: Mon, 3 Jan 2022, 7:48 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended the first trading day of 2022 lower on lack of buying interest on worries over the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, dealers said.
 
At 6 pm, the local note traded at 4.1715/1740 against the greenback from 4.1650/1680 at last Friday's close.
 
Dealers said investors were closely monitoring the developments related to the Omicron variant, as it could potentially disrupt the global supply chain and lead to higher inflation, as well as the possibility of imposing more restrictions.
 
The restrictions and disruptions caused will hurt the economic recovery, they said.
 
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Sunday said there was a high possibility of an Omicron wave starting in Malaysia as currently seen in other countries around the world, and the country's health system and facilities will still come under strain if there is an increase in transmission rates.
 
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham said, as of Jan 2, 64 cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant were detected in Malaysia, along with 5,151 cases of the Delta variant, 233 cases of the Beta variant, and 14 cases of the Alpha variant, making up a total of 5,460 "Variants of Concern".
 
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded lower against a basket of other major currencies.
 
The local unit dropped versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0917/0929 from Friday's close of 3.0872/0899 and decreased against the Japanese yen to 3.6220/6245 from 3.6186/6212.
 
It depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.6414/6431 from 5.6277/6318 on Friday, and weakened against the euro to 4.7363/7396 from 4.7194/7228 previously.
 
 
 - Bernama
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