KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher versus the US dollar today, supported by positive sentiment following the government's announcement of a 10-year stimulus plan to restart the battered tourism sector. At 9 am, the ringgit improve to 4.0550/0650 against the US dollar compared with last Thursday’s close of 4.0590/0620. Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said in the meantime, the government's move to lift the interstate travel ban starting Dec 6 has boosted domestic tourism. "Indeed, this should bode well for travel-related names, including AirAsia Group, Malaysia Airports and Genting Malaysia, and attract equity market inflows. "The next thing to watch for would be the re-opening of travel borders between countries, so let us hope that the vaccine roll-out goes smoothly and that the new variant of the virus does not plug up global travel,” he said in a note today. At the same time, the US dollar index weakened as investors await for the United States (US) President Donald Trump to approve the combined pandemic relief and funding bill to avoid the start of a partial US government shutdown. Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies. It had improved against the Singapore dollar at 3.0514/0596 from 3.0537/0571 last Thursday and appreciated versus the British pound to 5.4876/5028 from 5.5186/5243 previously. The local note rose against the euro to 4.9435/9573 from 4.9479/9528 last week, but eased against the Japanese yen to 3.9156/9256 from 3.9153/9193 previously.The local market was closed last Friday for Christmas. - Bernama
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