Ringgit falls to lowest since 2009 on oil price plunge

Malaysia's ringgit fell to the lowest level in more than five years and government bonds declined as a slump in crude prices damped the net oil exporter's economic outlook, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Malaysia's ringgit fell to the lowest level in more than five years and government bonds declined as a slump in crude prices damped the net oil exporter's economic outlook, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Malaysia's ringgit fell to the lowest level in more than five years and government bonds declined as a slump in crude prices damped the net oil exporter's economic outlook, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The ringgit retreated 0.5 per cent to 3.5520 to the US dollar as of 9.43am in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier dropped to 3.5538, the lowest level since July 2009.

Benchmark US oil held losses on Tuesday after sliding below US$50 a barrel for the first time since 2009.

Malaysia will be the sole loser among emerging Asian economies from the drop in crude prices as 30 per cent of state revenues are oil-related, Bloomberg reported citing a Dec 1 report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists. They estimate that every 10 per cent drop in the price of oil takes away 0.2 per cent from Malaysia's gross domestic product, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Malaysia's GDP was forecast to rise 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent in 2014, and between 5 per cent and 6 per cent in 2015, the finance ministry said in its 2014/2015 economic report released in October.