Ringgit Drops as Malaysia Exports Likely Rose Least in 15 Months

Malaysia’s ringgit fell to its lowest level in almost a week as economists predicted that government data this week will show exports rose the least in 15 months in January.

Overseas shipments increased 3 percent from a year earlier, the weakest pace since October 2010, according to the median estimate of 13 economists in a Bloomberg News survey before the March 7 report. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index dropped for a second day as China’s government said it is aiming for economic growth of 7.5 percent this year, the lowest target since 2004.

“Export data will give some indication of Malaysian economic growth,” said Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “China’s GDP target means Asian growth forecasts will be dragged lower as most economies here are still export-driven.”

The ringgit declined 0.5 percent to 3.0190 per dollar as of 4:40 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 3.0210 earlier, the weakest level since February 28.

Five-year government bonds rose. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 3.20 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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