The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (IHSG) was down 0.61 percent to 4,492.26 on its first trading day after the Idul Adha celebrations (when Muslims remember that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son to God). The main reason why the IHSG was down on Wednesday (16/10) was due to continued uncertainty about the US debt ceiling issue, while the deadline (17/10) is closing in. Fitch Ratings put US Treasury bonds on Rating Watch Negative, which might be a first step before a downgrade.
Despite the Rating Watch Negative, Fitch Ratings still believes that the debt ceiling will be raised in time to prevent a default. But as long as there is no agreement made between the Democrats and the Republicans, the issue is expected to put pressure on the performance of the IHSG.
| Source: Bank Indonesia
The central bank's rupiah mid rate appreciated as it has been speculated that the Federal Reserve will continue its quantitative easing program at the same pace (USD $85 billion per month). Also the bilateral KRW/IDR swap arrangement between Indonesia and South Korea which is expected to strengthen Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves and stabilize the rupiah had a positive impact. Moreover, domestic economic data are positive with 0.35 percent deflation in September and a trade surplus of USD $132.4 million in August. Despite ongoing high inflation (8.40 percent yoy) and a large trade deficit (USD $5.54 billion year to date), the most recent results are believed to be the starting point of a moderating trend.