KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its gains against the US dollar for the second consecutive day, spurred by growing optimism over positive news on the Covid-19 vaccine coupled with improving oil prices, said an analyst.
At 6 pm, the local currency stood at 4.1020/1070 versus the greenback compared with Monday’s close of 4.1140/1190.
The analyst said risk appetite for emerging currencies, including the ringgit, was restored amid confidence that vaccines could help end the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia had reached the final stage of negotiations with 10 manufacturers whose coronavirus vaccines were at Phase 3 of the clinical trials.
He said the talks covered cooperation in various stages of vaccine development such as research and development, exchange of scientists, development of fill and finish (technology transfer, logistics, and cold chain), and purchase of vaccines. The minister said the agreement was expected to be reached soon.
The international benchmark oil Brent crude rose 0.05 per cent to US$43.84 per barrel at press time.
Against other major currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0537/0576 from Monday’s close of 3.0562/0604, increased against the yen to 3.9329/9381 today from 3.9350/9405 and strengthened versus the euro to 4.8674/8750 from 4.8722/8798 previously.
However, the local note weakened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4245/4319 from 5.4185/4268 yesterday. — Bernama