The Indonesian rupiah appreciated slightly - by 0.09 percent - to IDR 13,464 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index) on Thursday (05/10), bucking the trend in Asia where most emerging market currencies weakened amid US dollar strength as US economic data showed that the US service sector grew at its fastest pace in 12 years in September 2017.
Meanwhile, other data indicated that US private employers added more jobs than previously forecast by analysts, despite the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Investors are now eagerly awaiting the US non-farm payrolls data that are due on Friday (06/10).
Despite the second straight day of strengthening, the Indonesian rupiah remains under pressure as there are growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate before the year-end. Meanwhile, proposed US tax reforms added to the US dollar's buoyancy.
Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), said recent rupiah weakness - the rupiah having weakened significantly since mid-September 2017 - is purely caused by external factors. He added that the Indonesian government and central bank will remain focused on developing the national economy amid these circumstances. Martowardojo also said he could not predict until when these external factors (mostly US policies) will continue to impact on the rupiah.
However, current rupiah volatility can be coped with, especially since Indonesia's economic fundamentals are strong with low inflation, plenty of foreign exchange reserves and the current account deficit under control. Still, Bank Indonesia emphasized that it will continue to carefully monitor all developments surrounding the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) appreciated 0.04 percent to IDR 13,483 per US dollar on Thursday (05/10).
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia