Malaysian stocks, currency fall as country declares state of emergency to curb surging Covid cases

A health worker wearing a personal protective equipment walks past an alley with a mural illustrating medical frontliners outside Clinic Ajwa in Shah Alam, Malaysia.Annice Lyn | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty ImagesSINGAPORE — Malaysia’s stocks and currency fell on Tuesday after the king declared a state of emergency that will last until August 1, as the country steps up measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.Following the announcement, the U.S. dollar-Malaysian ringgit pair hit a high of 4.072 — or around 0.54% higher than the previous close. The currency pair has since traded around 4.061, or 0.27% higher than Monday’s close.Meanwhile, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index fell around 1.45% from the previous day.It is not immediately clear what Malaysia’s state of emergency will entail.The declaration comes after cases of Covid-19 surged in recent months. Last week, the number of reported daily cases jumped above 3,000 for the first time since the outbreak, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.There are more than 138,200 cumulative cases for Covid-19 in Malaysia, and the Southeast Asian country has reported 555 deaths so far, according to Hopkins.Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday announced a nationwide ban on inter-state travel, as well as a two-week lockdown in several states and territories that will begin Wednesday.

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