KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit settled higher against the US dollar today on better demand for the local unit, supported by rising crude oil prices, said an analyst.
At 6 pm, the local note improved 115 basis points (bps) to 4.0475/0530 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.0590/0620.
The local market was closed last Friday for Christmas.
Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the higher oil prices were due to positive sentiment on the COVID-19 vaccines which are already available and have been distributed to some places.
At press time, the benchmark Brent crude oil stood at US$51.97 per barrel, up 1.33 per cent.
It was reported that the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b2 kicked off in the United States last week.
Meanwhile, Pharmaniaga Bhd said the vaccines were expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2021 as soon as it receives the go-ahead from the government.
Managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the government-linked company had set up a team of 400 personnel skilled in logistics and distribution in five godowns in Selangor, Penang, Sabah, and Sarawak.
The ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies.
It improved against the Singapore dollar at 3.0483/0529 from 3.0537/0571 on Thursday last week and appreciated versus the British pound to 5.4856/4938 from 5.5186/5243 previously.
The local note rose against the Japanese yen to 3.9114/9178 from 3.9153/9193, but eased against the euro to 4.9570/9649 from 4.9479/9528 last Thursday. — Bernama