Bloomberg News

Indonesian Rupiah Gains on U.S. Economic Data, Greece Optimism

February 17, 2012

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s rupiah rose for the first time in four days after U.S. reports added to signs of a recovery in the world’s biggest economy and optimism increased that Greece will secure a second bailout.

Gains in the currency may be limited after Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution said on Feb. 10 that authorities have been intervening in the currency and bond markets to curb volatility. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares had a ninth weekly gain, equal to the longest winning streaks since it was introduced in 1988. Jobless claims in the U.S. fell to a four- year low and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s economic index beat economist estimates, data showed yesterday.

“All the other regional currencies are picking up and the rupiah is moving in the same direction,” said Artanavaro Gasali, a Jakarta-based trader at PT Bank ICBC Indonesia. “It should stay somewhere within 8,900 to 9,000 in the coming week, because the central bank is keeping it in a range.”

The rupiah appreciated 0.35 percent to 9,058 per dollar as of 3:36 p.m. in Jakarta, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. The currency fell 0.3 percent this week.

European governments are considering cutting interest rates on emergency loans to Greece and using contributions from the European Central Bank to plug a new financing gap in the second bailout program for Athens, two people familiar with the discussions said.

U.S. jobless claims dropped by 13,000 in the week ended Feb. 11 to 348,000, less than the most optimistic estimate of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, Labor Department figures showed yesterday.

The yield on the government’s 7 percent bond due May 2022 climbed eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 5.23 percent this week, according to midday prices from the Inter Dealer Market Association. The rate increased one basis point today.

--Editors: James Regan, Anil Varma

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To contact the reporters on this story: Yudith Ho in Singapore at yho35@bloomberg.net; Lilian Karunungan in Singapore at lkarunungan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net.


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