On Friday's trading day, the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) started in an upward direction. However, as it felt the impact of European stock indices, that mostly opened lower, the IHSG weakened 0.32 percent to 4,978.51 points. Moreover, most other Asian indices were down (except for Hong Kong's HSI) and thus contributed to the IHSG's fall. Market participants also seem to fear the annual 'May Cycle' of the IHSG, which involves the traditional large-scale selling of IHSG stocks.
The history of the IHSG shows us that - after dividend distributions - investors tend to sell part of their stock portfolios in the month of May. This year, the 'May Cycle' might gain in strength as the government will raise the price of fuel in May, a measure that will result in inflationary pressures and thus in economic uncertainties. In this context we expect investors to look for safer places of investment.
The IDR rupiah failed to continue its upward movement on Friday due to decreased Consumer Confidence in South Korea, the annual Import Price Index of Germany, and lower than expected Consumer Confidence in France. Investors were also waiting for GDP and Consumer Sentiment Index figures of America and therefore engaged in a 'wait and see' attitude. As US Jobless Claims was well-received on Thursday, people (wrongly) assumed that US GDP and Consumer Sentiment would be positive too. Apart from that, market participants were also speculating that the Federal Reserve will decide to lower its stimulus package next week.
But the rupiah's fall was limited due to a strengthening Yen after Japan's inflation rate was reported to have decreased while Japan's Central Bank maintained its low key interest rate.| Source: Bank Indonesia
Asian stock indices were mostly down after Japan's Central Bank announced its interest rate would be kept at 0.0 percent, while it reaffirmed its commitment to double the country's monetary base in the next two years by adding up to 70 trillion Yen (USD $710 billion) per year on top of the amount of money that is already circulating in the economy. A number of Japanese companies that posted weak results (such as Shiseido Co and Advantest) contributed to negative market sentiments. Of the 135 companies that are listed in the Asia- Pacific Index, 70 reported a lower than expected performance.
European stock indices also weakened due to negative corporate Q1 results (including Total SA and Gucci PPR SA) as well as a decline in banking stocks. Market participants also tend to postpone any decision ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting next week in which the economic development of the Eurozone (and its interest rate) will be discussed. Most analysts believe that the ECB will lower its interest rate by 25 bps to 0.75 percent.
American stock indices as well fell as economic indicators turned out lower than expected: a decline in the purchasing power of personal consumption, and the beginning of company performance releases that do not meet expectations, such as Amazon.com Inc, Starbucks Corp, and Expedia Inc.