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Indonesia holds key rate as trade war hammers rupiah

Central bank bucks trend of monetary easing in Southeast Asia

The Indonesian rupiah has fallen 4% from a year-to-date high in early February. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged as the recent escalation in trade tensions between the U.S. and China has pushed down the rupiah.

Bank Indonesia on Thursday held its seven-day reverse repo rate at 6% for the sixth straight meeting, bucking a trend that saw Southeast Asian peers in Malaysia and the Philippines cut benchmark rates last week. All 20 economists surveyed by Reuters expected no change in Indonesia's policy.

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