Indonesia cuts key rate to two-year low as COVID-19 hits economy

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to its lowest in two years, as it steps up efforts to support an economy decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bank Indonesia lowered its seven-day reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 4.25% on Tuesday, its third rate cut this year. Nineteen of 30 analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the move.

The easing comes after Southeast Asia’s biggest economy grew at its slowest pace in 19 years in the first quarter, and social restrictions have weighed down on business, leading to millions of job losses.

While the country

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Indonesia tops Singapore as Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 hot spot

JAKARTA — Indonesia has once again become Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 hot spot, overtaking Singapore in terms of cumulative cases on Wednesday.

The region’s biggest economy reported an additional 1,031 infections, bringing its total to 41,431, while Singapore saw its figure rise to 41,216. Indonesia has seen an average of around 880 daily cases since early June, and now has the most confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia wants to gradually return to normal to shore up the flagging economy, but experts have warned that it may be premature to reopen as the virus has not yet been contained. The country

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Coronavirus latest: Indonesia auto sales plunge 96% in May

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 8,005,294, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 435,662.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Tuesday, June 16

4:40 p.m. The number of people on British company payrolls fell by more than 600,000 in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hit the labor market, official data shows, though the jobless rate unexpectedly

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Indonesia eyes ‘travel bubble’ for 4 Asia-Pacific nations

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s government has begun internal discussions on restarting regular travel to and from China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, despite coronavirus cases in the country showing no signs of slowing down.

Odo Manuhutu, deputy coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment, said Friday in a virtual news conference that the country’s foreign ministry will draw up criteria for a so-called “travel bubble” with the four countries.

The four countries are particularly important for Southeast Asia’s largest economy, accounting for a large percentage of tourists and investment inflows. China and Japan provided more than a third of foreign direct

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