Indonesia's c.bank holds benchmark rate at 7.25 pct
JAKARTA Oct 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia's central bank left its benchmark reference rate unchanged for the first time in five months on Tuesday, as recent encouraging data improved market sentiment and eased pressure on the rupiah.
It has lifted the rate by a total of 150 basis points since May to battle inflation and defend the ailing rupiah, Asia's worst performing currency this year.
The central bank also kept the overnight deposit facility rate, or FASBI, at 5.5 percent and the lending facility at 7.25 percent.
September inflation fell 0.35 percent on a monthly basis, and the annual rate was 8.4 percent, down from August's 8.79 percent.
Lower inflation and a surprise trade surplus for August eased pressure on the rupiah, which has slid more than 16 percent against the U.S. dollar this year.
The $130 million trade surplus followed a record $2.3 billion deficit in July.
Nine out of 11 analysts in a Reuters poll expected the central bank to hold rates on Tuesday.
However, some analysts believe BI will again raise its reference rate by early next year to dampen the impact from the U.S. Federal Reserve's eventual reduction of stimulus.
Right after Tuesday's announcement, the rupiah was unchanged at 11,525 to the dollar.
Announcement date Rate (percent)
For more historical data, please see
(Reporting by Adriana Nina Kusuma, Writing by Rieka Rahadiana; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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