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Rupiah Gains Most in Two Weeks on Global Growth, Moody’s Review

Indonesia’s rupiah rose the most in almost two weeks as economic data from the U.S. and China bolstered the outlook for global economic growth. Government bonds slid.

The currency gained for the first time in five days after Moody’s Investors Service put Indonesia’s sovereign ratings on review for possible upgrade. Government data today showed that October exports beat expectations and inflation accelerated in November. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 55.2 in November from 54.7 the previous month, the logistics federation said on its website today. That was the highest reading in seven months. The euro dipped below $1.30 yesterday for the first time since September on concern Europe’s debt crisis will spread.

“Asia is generally more optimistic and the U.S. and Chinese data may help sentiment at least during the Asian time zone,” said Philip Wee, a Singapore-based senior currency economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. “But the euro is still struggling below $1.30 and we may see Europe selling off again later today.”

The rupiah appreciated 0.3 percent to 9,018 per dollar as of 3:33 p.m. in Jakarta, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier reached 9,058, matching yesterday’s weakest level since July. The currency touched a three-year high of 8,875 on Nov. 5.

Moody’s, which has a Ba2 ranking on Indonesia’s local- and foreign-currency debt, today placed the ratings on review for a possible upgrade, citing economic resilience and improving debt position. It last upgraded the country to two levels below investment grade in September 2009.

Indonesia’s consumer prices rose 6.33 percent in November from a year earlier after climbing 5.67 percent in October, surpassing the 5.98 percent rise forecast by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report showed that exports grew 16.1 percent in October from 23.8 percent the previous month, twice the 8 percent median forecast in another survey.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said yesterday its purchasing managers’ index rose to 62.5 in November, the highest since April, from 60.6 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. The median forecast of 63 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected the gauge would fall to 59.9.

Benchmark bonds slid on speculation that the faster than expected consumer price growth may increase pressure on the central bank to raise policy rates. The yield on the 11 percent note due November 2020 rose three basis points to 7.49 percent, according to mid-day prices by Inter-Dealer Market Association.

Indonesia’s 2010 inflation may “slightly” exceed 6 percent, central bank Governor Darmin Nasution said today, adding that “inflationary pressure” may continue next year.

Policy makers will keep borrowing costs unchanged at their final rate-setting meeting of the year on Dec. 3, according to all 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The measure is at the lowest level since it was introduced in July 2005.

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