Ringgit strengthens to four-month high

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): The ringgit has strengthened to 4.0995 against the greenback on Thursday — its highest since Aug 28 last year — helped by firmer crude oil prices and signs of modest progress in the latest US-China trade talks.

The ringgit has kicked off to a good start this year, rising by 1.31% against the greenback from the 4.1540 level on Dec 28, 2018.

Bloomberg reported that the strengthening of the ringgit was supported by the faltering of the US dollar and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures entering bull market territory as prices topped US$50 (RM204.80) a barrel for the first time this year.

The WTI crude oil futures were last done at US$51.80 per barrel while the international Brent crude oil prices were traded at US$60.85 a barrel.

Oil prices have been on an uptrend on the back of renewed optimism that the Washington and Beijing trade dispute may soon come to a resolution, with a senior American official describing the latest dialogue as a "good one".

Prices have also been receiving support from supply cuts started at the end of 2018 by a group of producers around the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as non-OPEC member Russia, Reuters reported.