The performance of the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate on Friday morning (10/01) was rather stagnant against the US dollar (the latter's movement was mixed against currencies in the Asia-Pacific) although the rupiah was up 0.12 percent to IDR 12,178 per US dollar at 13:42 local Jakarta time based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Positive sentiments are caused by Indonesia's narrowing current account deficit (possibly less than 3 percent of GDP in Q4-2013) and rising foreign exchange reserves at end-December 2013.
One day after Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR), which is set by the central bank, appreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 12,197 per US dollar on Friday (10/01). The central bank kept its BI rate at 7.50 percent as inflation is easing while the trade balance is improving. Governor of Bank Indonesia, Agus Martowardojo, said that the current account deficit has declined from 3.8 percent of GDP in the third quarter of 2013 to below 3 percent of GDP in the last quarter of 2013. The full-year current account deficit in 2013 is estimated at USD $30 billion, well below the central bank's initial estimate of USD $32 billion. The improving trade balance is expected to continue in 2014 as an improving global economy will boost Indonesia's exports.
Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves moved further up towards the psychological level of USD $100 billion amid the improved trade balance. At end-December 2013, the country's foreign exchange reserves stood at USD $99.4 billion (an increase of USD $2.4 billion compared to the previous month). This implies that there has been some improvement in the balance of payments,
Indonesia Stock Exchange
The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index) rose 0.68 percent during the first trading session on Friday (10/01).