Despite non-conducive market sentiments, there was no stopping to the Indonesia stock index (IHSG) as it managed to reach its next psychological boundary on Thursday 18 April: 5,000 points. A fall in American energy and telecommunication stocks on the previous day - after corporate data indicated less-than-expected performances in the first quarter - buried hopes that the Dow Jones Index would hit another peak. As a result Asian stock indices were mostly negative.
Despite negative influence from the USA and Asian stock indices, the IHSG managed to rise to the level of 5,012.64 (a 0.28 percent increase). Various matters contributed to this new record high: expected good Q1-2013 company performance results, ongoing announcements of dividend payouts, and the presence of foreign investors who continue to buy Indonesian assets. Moreover, after European indices opened positive on Thursday it became certain that the IHSG would stay above the psychological boundary of 5,000 points.
The IDR rupiah weakened after a high official of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jens Weidman (who is also Germany's top central banker), stated to support the ECB's plan to lower its interest rate if the region's economy remains slumped. President of the ECB, Mario Draghi, said that he wants to lower the value of the Euro in order to increase competitiveness of the Eurozone's exports. This statement was also not well-received by market participants. On the other hand, the rupiah's decline was limited due to increased foreign direct investment (FDI) in China (which increased 1.44 percent) and due to improved business confidence in Australia.| Source: Bank Indonesia
Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Japan's Nikkei fell (particularly its mining and energy stocks) after being affected by the fall of the Dow Jones on Wednesday and by falling commodity prices (which are expected to block demand for raw materials). The index of Shanghai, on the other hand, gained as falling commodity prices are expected to benefit car producers and airlines as it will decrease production costs.