Bloomberg News

Rupiah Advances Most in Eight Months, Bonds Gain on China Pledge

May 21, 2012

Indonesia’s rupiah advanced the most in almost eight months and bonds rose after China pledged to boost its economy and world leaders sought to keep Greece in the euro zone, spurring demand for emerging-market assets.

The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index snapped six days of losses after China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said on May 20 he will give more priority to maintaining growth. Leaders of the Group of Eight nations pushed for Greece to stay in the euro area on May 19. Bank Indonesia continues to enter the rupiah market and will use its “ammunition” carefully, Deputy Governor Hartadi Sarwono said last week, adding that the central bank doesn’t want the rupiah to weaken too fast.

“There’s relief in the market from all the news, which gives room for the rupiah to strengthen,” said Nurul Eti Nurbaeti, the head of treasury research at PT Bank Negara Indonesia in Jakarta. “We expect it to be temporary, however, as it isn’t based on fundamentals.”

The rupiah gained 1.2 percent, the most since Sept. 27, to 9,250 per dollar as of 4:06 p.m. in Jakarta, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. The currency reached 9,396 on May 16, the weakest level since February 2010.

One-month implied volatility, which measures exchange-rate swings used to price options, held at 10 percent for a third day. The measure rose 450 basis points, or 4.5 percentage points, this month.

The government’s 7 percent bonds due May 2022 snapped 11 days of losses, with the yield dropping six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 6.54 percent, according to closing prices from the Inter-Dealer Market Association. The yield climbed 59 basis points this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yudith Ho in Jakarta at yho35@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net


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