At 9:37 WIB, the rupiah exchange rate weakened 41 points, or 0.3 percent, to Rp14,250 per US dollar as compared to Rp14,208 against the US dollar earlier.
Economist at Samuel Asset Management Lana Soelistianingsih remarked in Jakarta on Thursday that the rupiah's weakening this morning was triggered by an improvement in the US trade balance in January 2019.
"The possibility of the US trade performance improving along with the US-China trade agreement shows a significant progress and seems to satisfy the US," Soelistianingsih remarked.
The US trade balance in January 2019 shrank to US$51.1 billion, from $59.9 billion in December 2018, and far below the consensus of analyst expectations of $57 billion.
The US exports rose to $207.3 billion mainly due to rising food exports, especially of soybeans, while others were facilitated by the exports of vehicles, especially passenger vehicles. Both types of exports are believed to be part of the US-China trade agreement.
Meanwhile, imports fell 2.6 percent month to month (mom) to $258.5 billion, the lowest in the past seven months. The decline in imports was chiefly the result of a drop in the imports of capital goods related to computer accessories and semiconductors that were also related to imported goods from China. Imports from China recorded a decline of 9.6 percent mom.
On Thursday morning, the US dollar strengthened 0.06 percent against the Yuan; Hong Kong dollar, 0.01 percent; and Baht, 0.16 percent. The US dollar weakened 0.05 percent against the Won and 0.29 percent against the Yen.