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Rupiah Climbs to Six-Week High as Inflows Boost Stocks to Record

Indonesian Rupiah
A money changer poses with Indonesian rupiah banknotes, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Indonesia’s rupiah reached a six-week high on signs capital inflows into local assets are increasing after the Federal Reserve unveiled a third round of debt purchases, a policy that boosts the supply of dollars.

The Jakarta Composite Index of shares touched a record high today after foreign investors bought $221 million more local stocks than they sold last week, exchange data show. Global funds added 3.43 trillion rupiah ($362 million) to government debt holdings last week through Sept. 13, government figures show. The Fed announced last week it will start buying $40 billion a month of mortgage debt to support the U.S. economy.

The rupiah strengthened 0.4 percent to 9,472 per dollar as of 3:20 p.m. in Jakarta, prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg show. The currency reached 9,447 earlier, the strongest level since Aug. 1, and touched 9,609 on Sept. 13, the weakest level since May. One-month implied volatility, which measures exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 5 percent.

“The rupiah can reach as high as 9,400 as investors hunt for high-yielding currencies on renewed risk appetite,” said Nurul Eti Nurbaeti, the Jakarta-based head of treasury research at PT Bank Negara Indonesia. “This optimism will remain until the end of the month, lending support for the rupiah at 9,500.”

Indonesia’s current-account deficit will be at a “safe level” this year, remaining below 3 percent of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said today. The shortfall in the broadest measure of trade widened to a record $6.9 billion in the second quarter.

The yield on the government’s 9 percent notes due September 2018 dropped seven basis points today, or 0.07 percentage point, to 5.66 percent, the lowest level since Aug. 10, prices from the Inter Dealer Market Association show.

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