Malaysian ringgit closes at a 17-year low
Malaysia’s ringgit currency suffered one of its worst one-day declines on Friday, falling to a fresh 17-year low in a protracted slide blamed on concerns over low oil prices and political uncertainty.
The ringgit has declined more than 25 percent over the past year and it weakened another 1.74 percent to 4.0805 to the U.S. dollar by late afternoon trading on Friday.
It had lost nearly three percent of its value earlier in the day — its biggest drops in almost 20 years — after oil prices tumbled to fresh six-year lows.
Malaysia is an oil exporter and there is rising concern that slumping crude prices will curb economic growth.
Investor sentiment in Malaysia has also been hit by political turmoil stemming from corruption allegations involving Prime Minister Najib Razak, and mainland China’s surprise devaluation of the yuan this week.
Asia’s worst-performing currency over the past year, the ringgit slid through the key 4.0 barrier Wednesday for the first time since 1998, when a financial crisis rocked Asia.