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Economy grows 4.5% in first quarter

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy performed above expectations in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19) and the country’s foreign investments staged a strong improvement, amid elevated external challenges. However, despite these positive developments, more warnings signs on the economy have begun to crop up.

Malaysia's Economic Performance Chart. Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia.

Indonesia central bank keeps key rate unchanged at 6.00%

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s central bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged as expected, while the governor hinted he wants to cut but cannot do it yet given the country’s current account gap and global uncertainties.

Thailand not a currency manipulator, says central bank

BANGKOK: Thailand does not manipulate the value of the baht currency in order to gain any competitive advantage for exporters, its central bank governor said on Thursday in response to speculation Thailand could be added to a US watchlist.

Japan weighing downgrade of economic view

TOKYO: Japan’s government is considering downgrading its assessment of the economy next week as the intensifying Sino-US trade war takes a toll on exports and factory output, a government source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Iran exercises restraint despite US sanctions

TOKYO: Iran is committed to its obligations under an international nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal from the landmark agreement, its foreign minister said, calling the reimposition of US sanctions “unacceptable”.