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Ringgit Falls as Greek Concern, China GDP Damp Export Outlook

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit reversed earlier gains as renewed concern over Greece’s debt crisis and a cut to China’s economic-growth target dimmed the outlook for exports. Government bonds declined.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares weakened on doubts Greece can secure the majority needed to push through its debt swap with private creditors this week. China, Malaysia’s biggest overseas market, lowered its economic expansion target to 7.5 percent for this year from an 8 percent goal in place since 2005. Government data tomorrow may show shipments rose in January by the least since October 2010.

“After China lowered its gross domestic product target, there is some concern about Malaysia’s 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 3.0245 per dollar as of 4:10 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.0285, the weakest level since Feb. 23 after rising as much as 0.4 percent to 3.0080.

Malaysian exports rose 2 percent in January from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg News survey, down from 6.1 percent the previous month.

Five-year government bonds fell. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 rose five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 3.25 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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