Tue, 04 Mar 2008
Bank Indonesia (BI), will continue monitoring the rupiah exchange rate closely to prevent sharp fluctuations in the currency, deputy governor Budi Mulya told Reuters on Friday.

Most Asian currencies rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signalled further interest rate cuts to avert a US recession.

"BI will continue monitoring the rupiah exchange rate movements closely so that it will not fluctuate sharply because a stable exchange rate is very important for business," Mulya said.

The rupiah has strengthened about 3.6% against the US currency so far this year, after falling around 4% last year. It is now trading just above the psychological 9,000 per dollar level.

The central bank deputy reiterated that a stronger rupiah would help contain prices.

"A stronger rupiah exchange rate will have a positive impact as it will ease pressures from imported inflation."

Rising food price pushed up annual inflation to 7.36% in January, the highest since September 2006, when inflation soared 14.6% from a year ago.



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