The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.33 percent to IDR 11,698 per US dollar on Wednesday (16/07) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Although at the start of the trading day the rupiah weakened due to commentary of Federal Reserve Head Janet Yellen who said that US interest rates may increase sooner than expected provided that the US job market improves faster than anticipated, at the end of the trading day Indonesia's currency strengthened on improved economic growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy.
An improving economy of China is important for Indonesia as China is one of the most important export markets of Indonesia. It was announced that China’s GDP grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014, thus accelerating slightly, and modestly exceeding analysts’ predictions.
It was also reported that market participants bought rupiah-denominated assets on speculation that the recent drop of the rupiah has been excessive. Although Indonesia has a structural problem which places pressure on the rupiah - namely the ongoing current account deficit -, recently the currency weakened as market participants had been concerned about the country’s political uncertainties after the presidential election result showed no clear winner. Both presidential candidates declared a victory based on different quick count results. However, today it was reported that kawalpemilu.org (which tracks real results that are uploaded on the website of the General Elections Commission) shows that market favourite Joko Widodo (Jokowi) secured 52.9 percent of the votes in the election that was held on 9 July 2014 (after 96.6 percent of all votes have been counted). On 22 July, the General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce the official result of the presidential election. However, it is expected that rival candidate Prabowo Subianto will challenge the result (in case Jokowi is declared winner). This means that the Constitutional Court will need to handle the case first before a ruling is expected in late August 2014.
Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.82 percent to IDR 11,805 per US dollar on Wednesday (16/07).
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia
The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) rose 0.85 percent to 5,113.98 points on Wednesday.