The Indonesian rupiah is appreciating sharply on Thursday (05/01) as the US dollar retreats from its (near) 14-year peak against a basket of major global currencies ahead of the release of the US Federal Reserve's December policy meeting minutes. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had strengthened 0.83 percent to IDR 13,328 per US dollar by 14:00 pm local Jakarta time on Thursday (05/01). Particularly the unexpected fall of the US dollar against China's yuan spooks market players.
Over the past two trading days China's yuan actually weakened sharply against the US dollar, touching two-month lows, amid capital outflows from China. However, when the yuan suddenly appreciated against the US dollar on Thursday (05/01), market players rushed to buy the yuan as well as several other key currencies such as Japan's yen and the euro.
Investors are also engaging in profit-taking after the two-month rally of the US dollar that came on the back of Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 US presidential election in early November 2016. Due to Trump's plans to cut taxes, boost fiscal spending and become more protectionist in terms of trade, US inflation is expected to rise, while US bond yields are lifted.
Positive domestic macroeconomic data in Indonesia also supports the rupiah's performance today. Indonesia's full-year 2016 inflation was low at 3.02 percent (y/y), while the budget deficit (realization) is estimated to remain slightly below 2.5 percent of Indonesia's GDP in 2016.
Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) appreciated 0.80 percent to IDR 13,380 per US dollar on Thursday (05/01). Due to positive recent economic data (including manufacturing activity in the USA, China and Europe) markets are on 'risk-on mode' overall.
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia