Rupiah Gains as U.S. Retail Sales Data Allay Slowdown Concern

Indonesia’s rupiah advanced, snapping two days of losses, as U.S. economic data tempered concern the global economic recovery is stalling.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of regional shares rose 1.2 percent after the Commerce Department said on Aug. 12 retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.5 percent in July, the most in four months. The world’s largest economy was the third-biggest buyer of Indonesia’s non-oil exports in June, according to official data.

“Better data from the U.S. helped to calm investors,” said Lindawati Susanto, head of treasury at PT Bank Resona Perdania in Jakarta. “Asian stocks and currencies are up.”

The rupiah strengthened 0.3 percent to 8,536 per dollar as of 8:19 a.m. in Jakarta, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The currency has appreciated 5.2 percent this year, the second-best performance among Asia’s 10 most-traded currencies excluding the yen, as global investors bought $2.1 billion more local shares than they sold. They boosted ownership of the nation’s bonds by 24 percent to 243.12 trillion rupiah ($28.5 billion) this year through Aug. 11, according to the debt-management office.

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