Ringgit approaches 4.20/USD as trade tensions weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 23): Ringgit falls toward the psychological 4.20 mark versus the dollar as simmering U.S.-China tensions continue to erode demand for risk assets.

* USD/MYR advances 0.2% to 4.1921; pair has climbed in all but one session in May

** Support 4.1565, 4.1500, 4.1413; resistance 4.1925, 4.2020

** NOTE: Onshore markets were shut Wednesday for a holiday

* Pair may face strong resistance at 4.20, but will probably breach that level and head for 4.30 due to continued U.S.-China tensions, says Gao Qi, a currency strategist at Scotiabank in Singapore

** Volatile oil prices could also worsen the pressure on ringgit

* AmBank remains cautious on MYR in the near term, as weakness in EUR may persist if European parliamentary elections confirm the rise of populism, according to daily note

* Malaysia’s 10-year govt bond yield is steady at 3.81%

* Auction of RM4b of 10-year govt bonds closes at 11:30am local time

* Morgan Stanley recommends investors buy Southeast Asian stocks on weakness amid trade tensions, and Malaysia is among the markets it favors

* Malaysian police have gained new leads on the whereabouts of fugitive financier Jho Low, according to a report by official Bernama news agency citing Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador

* Singapore and Malaysia will suspend construction of a high-speed rail project connecting the countries until the end of Sept 2019, the city state’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said Tuesday