Indonesian Rupiah Surges for Fifth Straight Month on Investor Optimism
The rupiah completed a fifth month of gains, its longest winning streak in three years, as overseas investors added to holdings of the nation’s stocks due to the outlook for economic growth.
The rupiah is Asia’s top-performing currency so far this year, with a 9.6 percent advance as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s second-term election win stoked investor confidence.
The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index rose to its highest level in more than a year, as overseas funds bought more stocks than they sold for an eleventh day.
“We are still in a risk-seeking environment, with global stocks continuing to climb and strong inflows into Asia,” said Thomas Harr, a currency strategist at Standard Chartered in Singapore.
“We have very good growth stories here in Asia with China, Indonesia and India posting positive growth, while even Korea and Taiwan are showing signs of recovery.”
The rupiah rose 0.1 percent to 9,948 per dollar as of 4:26 p.m. in Jakarta, taking gains this month to 2.6 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency reached 9,910 on Friday, its strongest since October.
Asian currencies have room to strengthen further this year and the rupiah, India’s rupee and South Korea’s won will continue to outperform, Harr said.
According to Forecast Singapore, however, the rupiah may strengthen 1.5 percent to a nine-month high of 9,775 against the dollar after it rose beyond so-called resistance at 9,925. Harr maintained his year-end target for the rupiah to rise to 9,500.
The economy is forecast to expand 4.3 percent this year, according to the revised annual budget on July 22. Foreign investors bought a net $254 million in local stocks this week as of Thursday, taking the year’s total purchases to $684 million.
Ten-year bonds completed their fifth monthly gain this year, as slowing inflation may afford more leeway for the central bank to further reduce its key rate.