JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s central bank on Thursday will keep its main interest rate unchanged for a sixth straight policy meeting as rising U.S.-China trade tensions renew pressure on the rupiah, a Reuters poll showed.
Some economists penciled in a rate cut in Southeast Asia’s largest economy this year after the Federal Reserve turned dovish and Indonesian data, including a smaller current account gap, benign inflation and weakening GDP growth, auger for such a move.
Week - Meeting - Analysts - Poll - Forecast
But for this week’s meeting, all 20 analysts in the poll forecast no change in Bank Indonesia’s (BI) 7-day reverse repurchase rate, which has been 6.00 percent since November.
BI last year raised rates six times by 175 basis points to defend the rupiah, making it one of Asia’s most aggressive central banks, amid pressure from U.S. interest rate hikes and Indonesia’s large current account gap.
Return - US-China - Trade - Tensions - Uncertainty
“The return of U.S.-China trade tensions is inducing significant external uncertainty that BI will be wary of, and validates BI keeping a steadfast stance in prioritizing its stability objective,” said Euben Paracuelles, an economist with Nomura.
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