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Malaysia holds policy rate steady, sees risks to growth

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's central bank kept its overnight policy rate at 3.25 per cent on Thursday, as expected, citing a weaker external environment, slowing private consumption and higher inflation.

"The performance of the Malaysian economy continues to be affected by the weak external environment," Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) monetary policy committee said in a statement.

A Reuters poll of 15 economists had predicted the central bank would keep the rate steady, with Malaysia weathering weak global prices for its energy and commodity exports, and a political scandal that has frayed investor confidence.

The ringgit currency is Asia's worst performing currency so far this year, having lost over 18 per cent of its value against the dollar.

BNM last revised the benchmark rate in July 2014, when it was raised it by 25 basis points from 3.0 per cent to curb rising household debt.


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