The rupiah exchange rate against the United States dollar on Wednesday (05/09) continued to weaken. The average trade of interbank per US dollar was priced above Rp. 14,900.
The weakening of the exchange rate is not only experienced by the rupiah. The exchange rate of other developing countries also weakens, such as India weakening more than 10 percent, Brazil 20 percent, and even, Turkey and Argentina reached more than 40 percent. The current rupiah weakening which reached 9.24 percent is still better than other developing countries such as India, Brazil but, the rupiah exchange rate looks more sluggish than the currencies of countries in Southeast Asia. The Philippine peso weakened to 6.99 percent, the Yuan reached 4.83 percent, the Korean Won reached 4.27 percent, the Malaysian Ringgit reached 2.23 percent, and the Singapore dollar reached 2.96.
The weakening of the rupiah exchange rate was largely influenced by negative sentiments both outside and within the country. The negative sentiments from outside such as the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase, the trade war between China and the United States, and the crisis that hit Turkey and Argentina. While negative sentiments from the country include foreign exchange purchases by corporations for large imports, and current account deficits. Indonesia's current account balance deficit is still in the range of three percent of Gross Domestic Product -GDP, affecting investor sentiment because foreign exchange reserves continue to be eroded to patch the deficit.
The Government and Bank Indonesia have made efforts to reduce rupiah depreciation. Bank Indonesia continues to be in the market to increase the volume of intervention both in the foreign exchange market and in the Government Securities market. All efforts of the government and Bank Indonesia have not been able to reduce the weakening of the rupiah.
Governor of Bank Indonesia –BI, Perry Warjiyo admitted on Tuesday (4/9/2018) that currently, the weakening of the rupiah is not natural because it does not reflect its fundamental value. He emphasized that the rupiah exchange rate which on Tuesday dropped to Rp. 14,900 per dollar is not reasonable and should not happen.
The question is whether there is a role for speculators in weakening the rupiah. The government has threatened to impose strict sanctions on speculators who have been trying out 'acting as speculators'. The Government’s threat to foreign exchange speculators, as stated by Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Darmin Nasution indicates that there are certainly speculators who are currently "speculating" the rupiah.
The government needs to prevent, and take action against them so as not to try to take advantage of this condition. The government along with Bank Indonesia and the Financial Services Authority –OJK must cooperate to prevent and crack down the speculators.