Bloomberg News

Rupiah Touches Three-Year Low as November Trade Deficit Forecast

January 01, 2013

Indonesia’s rupiah fell, touching a three-year low, before data that is forecast to show the trade balance remained in deficit for a second month in November.

Exports declined for an eighth month, helping create a trade shortfall of $409 million, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey before an official report due around 11 a.m. in Jakarta. The current-account deficit will be 2.3 percent of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, the most since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1997, the central bank forecast on Dec. 11.

The rupiah fell 0.4 percent to 9,673 per dollar as of 9:02 a.m. in Jakarta from Dec. 28, prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg show. Local markets were closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. That was the biggest drop since Dec. 17. It touched 9,780, the weakest level since Sept. 16, 2009. The rupiah was the worst-performing currency last year among Asia’s 10 most-active excluding the Japanese yen, declining 5.9 percent.

“The trade balance likely remained in deficit through December,” said Mika Martumpal, a currency analyst at PT Bank CIMB Niaga in Jakarta. “The rupiah will trade between 9,700 and 9,800 through the first quarter, after which commodity prices may rise and improve exports.”

One-month implied volatility for the rupiah, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, was unchanged at 5.7 percent today. It fell 7.5 percentage points last year, the most since 2009.

Global funds added 46.1 trillion rupiah ($4.7 billion) to their holdings of local-currency government bonds in the second half of 2012 through Dec. 26, finance ministry data show.

The yield on the government’s 7 percent notes maturing in May 2022 declined one basis point to 5.18 percent, prices from the Inter Dealer Market Association show. The yield fell 84 basis points, or 0.84 percentage point, in 2012, a fourth year of declines.

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

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


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