The ringgit opened at its lowest level versus the US dollar since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, as more investors shifted to safe havens due to the uncertain global economic outlook.
At 9.01am, the local currency fell to 4.5010/5035 against the greenback from Tuesday's close of 4.4970/4500.
ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the market had been more volatile than usual recently due to escalating tension between Russia and the West, culminating in Russia deciding to cut off gas supplies to Europe indefinitely.
“In the meantime, the US ISM non-manufacturing purchasing managers index data for the month of August recorded a much higher than expected reading, which increased buying pressure for the greenback that has already been on an uptrend in the past few months.
“With data pointing to high inflation and low unemployment in the US, many expect the US Federal Reserve to maintain the current upward trajectory when it comes to interest rates, with a further rise expected at the next meeting,” he said in a note today.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
The local unit appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1965/1987 from Tuesday’s close of 3.2021/2044, and rose against the Japanese yen to 3.1451/1473 from 3.1741/1762 yesterday.
The ringgit also strengthened against the British pound to 5.1671/1700 from 5.2156/2191 and increased against the euro to 4.4515/4540 from 4.4759/4788 yesterday.