The rupiah continued to gain ground against the US dollar on Tuesday following news reports that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has picked a number of professional figures for the new Cabinet in his second term of office.
The reports that Jokowi had picked a number of young professionals and the reappointment of Sri Mulyani Indrawati as the finance minister boosted confidence among investors that Jokowi would maintain professionalism despite the appointment of a number of political figures in his new Cabinet, analysts said.
The rupiah has been on an upward trend since last week, and has become the biggest gainer in the Asian currency market. In afternoon trading on Tuesday, the rupiah gained 0.5 percent to 14,058 to the greenback on the spot market.
Most Southeast Asian stock markets traded in positive territory on Tuesday, with Singapore leading gains, as signs of progress in the Sino-US trade negotiations whetted appetites and encouraged investors to resume their bets, Reuters reported.
However, Indonesian stocks were set to snap seven straight sessions of gains as cautious investors awaited the central bank policy meeting due later this week. Bank Indonesia is expected to cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points, according to a Reuters poll.
Auto manufacturer Astra International and cement manufacturer Semen Indonesia were among the top losers, slipping 1.5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. (hen)