Ringgit Falls as Greek Concern, China GDP Damp Export Outlook

The ringgit fell to the lowest level in almost two weeks, reversing earlier gains, as renewed concern about Greece and China’s lower economic-growth target dimmed the outlook for Malaysia’s exports. Government bonds declined.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index (MXAP) of shares weakened on doubts Greece can secure the majority needed to push through its swap with private creditors this week. China, Malaysia’s top export market, yesterday pared its economic expansion target to 7.5 percent from an 8 percent goal in place since 2005. Malaysian exports rose 2 percent in January from a year earlier, the least since October 2010, according to the median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg News survey before data due tomorrow.

“After China lowered its GDP target, there is some concern about the Malaysian growth trajectory,” said Syhiful Zamri Abdul Azid, director of investment, research and advisory at Kenanga Investors Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “The Greek debt deal is another timeline we’re looking at.”

The ringgit declined 0.2 percent to 3.0233 per dollar as of 1:42 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.0285 earlier, the lowest level since February 23.

Five-year government bonds fell. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 3.27 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Liau Y-Sing in Kuala Lumpur at yliau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry in Hong Kong at shendry@bloomberg.net.

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