ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Rupiah strong, central bank may raise again
Indonesia's rupiah traded near the strongest level in almost three months as rumor persisted that s Wednesday that the central bank will raise borrowing costs further to curb inflation.
Bank Indonesia lifted its reference rate for the first time in almost two years last week. Policy makers will increase the benchmark rate to 7.25 percent this year from 6.75 percent now, according to Bambang Eko Joewono, head of the global-markets division at Bank UOB Buana. The currency has gained 1.5 percent so far this month as exchange data show overseas funds bought $46 million more shares than they sold during the period.
"People say Bank Indonesia is behind the curve as inflation is still there," Jakarta-based Joewono said. "Funds are still coming in from offshore parties, which is strengthening the rupiah."
The rupiah traded at 8,918 per dollar as of 8:12 a.m. in Jakarta, compared with 8,919 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 8,898, the strongest level since Nov. 11.
Consumer prices in Southeast Asia's biggest economy rose 7.02 percent in January from a year earlier, the most in 21 months, according to official data
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