TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The rupiah barely moved throughout yesterday's currency trade, edging down one point (0.01 percent) to close at 12,110 per US dollar. The rupiah weakened as the greenback maintained its gain over almost all global currencies since the end of last week.
Money market analyst Lindawati Susanto said the greenback will remain on an uptrend after the Fed scrapped its monetary stimulus program. In addition, the Fed's plan to raise deposit interest rates on next year encourages investors to hunt the US dollar as the safest investment instrument.
"As long as the Fed does not change its monetary policy, the dollar will continue to strengthen," she said yesterday.
Domestically, she said, September's trade deficit carries a negative effect on the rupiah. The combination of external and internal sentiments will make it difficult for the rupiah to move significantly, she said, projecting the exchange rate will remain in the 12,000 to 12,200 per US dollar equilibrium for quite some time.
"It would take a really strong catalyst for the rupiah to return to around Rp11,900 per US dollar," she said.
The fuel price hike could just be that catalyst needed to drive the rupiah. "Increased subsidized fuel prices fuel prices will weaken the rupiah briefly as the rate will be eroded by inflation. But in the long run, the value of oil imports will decline and the trade balance will post a surplus," said Lindawati.
PDAT | M. AZHAR