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NSW woman fights off man armed with knife

A man is behind bars after a woman woke to find a stranger armed with a knife in her bedroom in Sydney's inner west.

Investigators began hunting for the intruder who allegedly threatened and physically assaulted the 22-year-old woman in Ashfield on Tuesday, leaving her with a minor cut to her hand, police say.

The woman fought back against the man, raising the alarm and alerting her housemate before he fled the scene.

The man is alleged to have left with the woman's phone, which he used to transfer money from her bank account.

On Saturday, police arrested a 21-year-old Malaysian national before 9am at an Ashfield business.

He's facing a string of charges including attempted aggravated sexual assault, break and enter with intent, aggravated robbery and choking a person with the intent of committing an indictable offence.

The man was refused bail and is due to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

© AAP 2019