Indonesian rupiah businesses amid weak Asian currencies during the holidays

  • Asian currencies mixed in a thin trade
  • Stocks from Japan, India and the Philippines rise
  • China, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore are closed for the holidays

Feb 2 (Reuters) – The Indonesian rupiah strengthened on Wednesday after the country’s finance minister took a cautious stance on the timing of foreign currency bond issuance, given rising interest rates in the world.

The rupiah rose 0.2% – following its best day in nearly three weeks – as Finance Minister Mulyani Indrawati also said economic activity in the first quarter should not be too affected by a fresh wave of cases of COVID-19, as vaccination rates have now been higher than in previous waves.

Jakarta shares (.JKSE) soared more than 1% as the country’s annual inflation rate hit 2.18% in January, to come within the central bank’s target range of 2% to 4% for the first time in nearly two years. Read more

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China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan were all closed due to public holidays.

The Thai baht and the Philippine peso both fell between 0.1% and 0.4% against a weaker dollar.

But the benchmark Philippine stock index (.PSI) rose nearly 2%, set for its best day in three weeks.

Japanese stocks (.N225) rose 1.6%, following Wall Street’s overnight rally on improving risk appetite. The yen, however, held steady in lessened Asian trading over the holidays.

Indian stocks (.NSEI) rose nearly 1%, extending a post-budget rally, after the government ramped up spending to put growth on a firmer footing. Read more

The Singapore dollar was stable as the country’s stock markets (.STI) were also closed for a public holiday.

STRONG POINTS

** Major gainers in the Jakarta Stock Index (.JKSE) include MNC Kapital Indonesia Tbk PT (BCAP.JK) up 28.7%, Gaya Abadi Sempurna Tbk PT (SLIS.JK) up 25%

** Nifty Bank Index (.NSEBANK) and Nifty PSU Bank Index (.NIFTYPSU) led gains among Indian sub-indices

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Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bangalore; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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