KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4, 2016:

The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar today on negative sentiment influenced by the geopolitical tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, said dealers.

At 5pm, the local unit fell to 4.3450/3530 from 4.2900/2970 on Thursday. The local foreign exchange market market was closed on Friday for new year festivities.

The intensifying tension between the two countries pushed investors’ focus to the less risky currencies.

“As for most emerging Asian currencies, they traded lower on the first day of trading in the New Year, tracking disappointing China factory data,” the dealer said.

The local currency also eased against other major currencies.

It slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.0513/0582 from Thursday’s 3.0367/0423 and fell to 6.4171/4298 from 6.3604/3716 versus the British pound on Thursday.

The ringgit also weakened against the yen to 3.6510/6580 from 3.5637/5698 on Thursday and vis-a-vis the Euro, it slipped to 4.7456/7557 from 4.6851/6940 previously.

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