KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): The ringgit strengthened to its firmest level today at 3.8910 against the US dollar as crude oil prices rose on news of a worker strike in Kuwait's oil sector.
At 10:27am, the ringgit pared gains at 3.9053 against the US dollar. The exchange rate today was between 3.8910 and 3.9130.
Reuters reported that oil prices edged up in early trading on Tuesday as an oil worker strike in Kuwait cut huge amounts of crude out of the supply chain.
But analysts warned that the disruption would be short-lived and that markets would soon refocus on a global supply glut following the failure on Sunday by major exporters to rein in on oversupply.
Brent crude futures were at US$43.04 a barrel at 0135 GMT, 13 cents above their last close. US West Texas Intermediate futures were up 8 cents at US$39.86 a barrel.
In Malaysia, analysts said the strengthening ringgit and rising crude oil prices could bode well for Malaysian shares.
"Overall, we reiterate our view that the local bourse will trend higher on potential central banks' stimulus and more dovish Federal Reserve statement," Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd retail research head Datuk Dr Nazri Khan wrote in a note today.
"With the underlying trends of strengthening ringgit and crude oil prices, we sense a good buy investment strategy now especially on emerging trading interest in plantation and oil and gas stocks," Nazri said.