(Bloomberg) — The Indonesian rupiah has languished at the bottom of Asian currency rankings for most of the year but a recent overhaul of the nation’s investment law may help revive its fortunes.

The rupiah rose about 1% against the dollar last week after Indonesia approved its first omnibus law aimed at cutting red tape to boost investments and create jobs. That’s after a loss of 4.1% in the quarter ended September amid concern over Bank Indonesia’s independence, debt monetization and an economy poised for its first annual contraction since 1998.

“The passing of the omnibus labor law is good news for the rupiah as it’s a long-term structural reform that will improve the growth prospects of the economy,” said David Forrester, FX strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. “We forecast USD/IDR to reach 14,500 by year end.”



graphical user interface, chart: Rupiah's 200-DMA continues to limit currency's gains


© Bloomberg
Rupiah’s 200-DMA continues to limit currency’s gains

The rupiah, which traded at 14,700 against the dollar on Friday, has fallen 5.7% so far this year as Asia’s worst performer.

Even though the rupiah failed to breach resistance at its 200-day moving average, support near 15,000 has held in the second half of the year aided by a burgeoning trade surplus, and Bank Indonesia’s support. Not only has the central bank intervened in the currency market, it has also left rates unchanged at its last two meetings.

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Rupiah bulls will therefore be focusing on the central bank’s policy decision Tuesday, hoping that it continues to prioritize the currency’s stability over growth by keeping rates at present levels. All of the nine economists in Bloomberg’s survey forecast that BI will continue to be

Friday's report was compiled by BIS, the Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank. File Photo by Canadastock/Shutterstock/UPI

Friday’s report was compiled by BIS, the Bank of England, the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank. File Photo by Canadastock/Shutterstock/UPI

Oct. 9 (UPI) — The Bank of International Settlements and seven central banks around the world published a report Friday that set a framework for a digital currency to work in conjunction with paper money.

The report highlights three key elements of the proposal — cryptocurrency coexisting with cash in a flexible payment system, supporting wider policy objectives and promoting innovation and efficiency.

“This report is a real step forward for this group of central banks in agreeing on the common principles and identifying the key features we believe would be needed for a workable [central bank digitalcurrency] system,” Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor for the Bank of England, said in a statement.

Along with BIS and Bank of England, the report was compiled by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank.

The institutions said the core features of the digital currencies are that they will be resilient and secure to maintain operational integrity, convenient and available at a low or no cost to end-users, underpinned by appropriate standards and a clear legal framework and have an appropriate role for the private sector.

“While technology is changing the way we pay, central banks have a duty to safeguard people’s trust in our money,” European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said.

“Central banks must complement their domestic efforts with close cooperation to guide the exploration of central bank digital currencies to identify reliable principles and encourage innovation.”

The report follows years of growing staying power among cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra.

(Bloomberg) — The Bank of Japan said it aims to start early phase experiments next year on issuing a digital currency in order to be ready should demand for one rise quickly.



a group of people walking on a city street: Pedestrians walk past the Bank of Japan (BOJ) headquarters at dusk in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The Bank of Japan left its bond-purchase amount unchanged at a regular operation on Monday.


© Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk past the Bank of Japan (BOJ) headquarters at dusk in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The Bank of Japan left its bond-purchase amount unchanged at a regular operation on Monday.

“From the viewpoint of ensuring the stability and efficiency of the overall payment and settlement systems, the bank considers it important to prepare thoroughly to respond to changes in circumstances in an appropriate manner,” the BOJ said in a report released Friday.

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While the BOJ reiterated it has no immediate plans to issue a digital currency, today’s report suggests it is trying to keep up with peers including the People’s Bank of China, which has been studying the topic for years and in April gave the green light for some lenders to conduct internal, hypothetical-use tests of a digital yuan.

Read More: Japan Seen Needing U.S. Help to Check China’s Digital Yuan

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso in February expressed concern over China’s ambitions and senior ruling party lawmaker said a digital yuan would be a challenge to the existing global reserve currency system.

Most central banks that have been looking at the issue of digital currencies are treating it with caution because the risks of getting things wrong are significant. Depending on the model of central bank digital currency, authorities risk either cutting out commercial banks, a vital funding source for the real economy, or assuming the direct risks and complications of being in the banking business.

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LONDON (Reuters) – A group of seven major central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve set out on Friday how a digital currency could look like to help catch up with China’s “trail blazing” and leapfrog private projects like Facebook Inc’s FB.O Libra stablecoin.

Small toy figurines are seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency displayed in front of an image of China’s flag in this illustration picture, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

The central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), said core features should include resilience, availability at low or no cost, appropriate standards and clear legal framework, and an appropriate role for the private sector.

Bank of England (BoE) Deputy Governor and chair of a BIS committee on payments Jon Cunliffe said the rise in cashless payments since lockdowns to fight the pandemic has accelerated how technology is changing forms of money.

Central banks began looking closely at digital currencies after Facebook last year announced its yet-to-be-launched digital token Libra that would be backed by a mixture of major currencies and government debt. The body behind Libra has since tweaked plans and now hopes to launch several “stablecoins” backed by individual currencies.

Central banks need to keep up to avoid the private sector plugging payments gaps in unsuitable ways, Cunliffe said.

Besides the Fed and the BoE, the seven central banks that have teamed up with the BIS include the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank and Bank of Japan, but not the People’s Bank of China.

China is already piloting a digital renminbi, with the PBOC saying it would boost the yuan’s reach in a world currently dominated by the dollar.

Japan’s top financial diplomat, Kenji Okamura, said on Thursday that China was seeking to win a first-mover advantage in building its own

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese commercial banks have made rare cuts to their foreign currency deposit rates in recent weeks to reflect the easier monetary policies of overseas economies grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is expected to encourage Chinese companies and households to covert their often large foreign currency holdings to yuan and dampen speculative purchases of foreign currencies, analysts said.

Bank of Communications <601328.SS> <3328.HK> said on Saturday that it was lowering interest rates on deposits below $3 million in certain foreign currencies.

The one-year dollar deposit rate at all of China’s “big five” state banks now stands at 0.35% which compares with levels of 0.75-0.8% previously, according to data from the lenders.

In contrast, the benchmark one-year yuan deposit rate is much higher at 1.5%. Long betting that the yuan would eventually depreciate, Chinese companies and households have heavily invested in foreign currency assets.

Chinese foreign currency deposits stood at $819.5 billion as of end-August, up $25.8 billion from the previous month, and marking the highest level since March 2018. But as overseas economies embark on aggressive monetary easing, cutting rates to zero or negative, foreign capital has flowed into China – the only major economy expected to show growth this year. As a result, the yuan

has appreciated more than 5% against the dollar since late May.
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(Reporting by Han Xiao, Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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