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Rupiah Touches 17-Month Low as Funds Sell Assets; Bonds Fall

Indonesia’s rupiah touched a 17-month low after foreign funds cut holdings of local assets as Europe’s debt crisis and the U.S.’s failure to agree on deficit-cutting measures damped demand for emerging-market assets.

The currency erased earlier losses of as much as 0.8 percent and closed stronger from yesterday. The central bank said last month it will sell the dollar when needed to ease currency volatility. Offshore ownership of Indonesian government debt fell 1.1 percent to 219.71 trillion rupiah ($24.3 billion) last week, according to finance ministry data. Overseas investors sold $60 million more Indonesian shares than they bought yesterday, exchange data show.

“It is still the negative sentiment coming from the U.S. and Europe,” said Wiling Bolung, head of treasury at ANZ Panin Bank in Jakarta. “People are closely watching the stocks and capital inflows. Bank Indonesia is in the market to ease volatility rather than defend a specific level.”

The rupiah was up 0.1 percent to 9,045 per dollar as of 4:30 p.m. in Jakarta, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 9,125 earlier, the weakest level since June 18, 2010.

The yield on the government’s benchmark 8.25 percent bonds due July 2021 climbed six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 6.41 percent, according to prices from the Inter-Dealer Market Association.

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