JAKARTA Jan 9 Indonesia's stock market slipped
0.8 percent on Wednesday, bucking regional gains and pulling
back from a record high set last week, as weakness in the
currency led to investor selling on banks.
The rupiah fell as much as 0.8 percent on local
corporate dollar demand and as some foreign investors sold
domestic bonds, before the central bank was seen stepping in to
help the currency end the day little changed.
"The exchange rate significantly weakened today as many
investors withdrew funds from the bond market, impacting shares
in banks which hold high amounts of sovereign bonds," said a
Top lender PT Bank Mandiri, which holds about 15
percent of its assets in government bonds in Southeast's Asia's
biggest economy, fell 1.2 percent, while fellow state-owned bank
PT Bank Negara Indonesia fell 2.6 percent. Other
Southeast Asian stock markets gained ground.
Indonesia's benchmark index started 2013 with a
record, yet economic concerns could make fund investors turn
away this year from a country that high domestic growth
transformed into a popular safe haven during global turbulence.
The rupiah was emerging Asia's worst performer last year,
losing over six percent, and has continued to fall this year on
concern over trade and current account deficits caused by weak
exports of commodities such as coal.
Coal firms also dragged down the index on Wednesday, with
top miner PT Bumi Resources falling 1.5 percent and PT
Toba Bara Sejahtera sliding 10.9 percent.
(Reporting by Andjarsari Paramaditha; Writing by Neil
Chatterjee; Editing by Robert Birsel)