Although Asian stock indices tended to decline on Monday’s trading day (07/07) due to profit taking amid expectation that corporate earnings in the first half of 2014 are disappointing, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) performed remarkably well as foreign investors recorded net buying and the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated sharply. The main reason why markets were positive in Indonesia on Monday was the strong performance of Joko Widodo in Saturday’s presidential debate.
The Jakarta Composite Index climbed 1.70 percent to 4,989.03 points.
Jakarta Composite Index:
On Sunday (06/07), Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, gave a press conference in France in which she warned that the global economic growth momentum might be less strong than expected due to modest economic recovery and weaker investment. The IMF still sees risks in the US recovery despite the sharp fall in the unemployment rate and the surge in new jobs as reported in Thursday’s nonfarm payroll release. Meanwhile, the Goldman Sachs Group brought forward its estimate for US interest rate hikes to the third quarter of 2015 as it sees the economy “accelerating to an above-trend pace.” Investors are now waiting for the release of the Fed minutes of its last Open Market Committee meeting. The minutes are expected to be released on Wednesday (09/07). In this context, the US dollar strengthened at the expense of most emerging currencies, with the exception of the Indonesian rupiah.
On Saturday the fifth and last debate took place in which the presidential hopefuls faced off. Indonesia’s presidential election has become a close race between incumbent Jakarta Governor and market favourite Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and controversial candidate Prabowo Subianto. Recent surveys indicate that the outcome is too close to call, which is part of the reason why Indonesia has experienced capital outflows in recent months. However, Indonesian media and analysts were impressed by the strong performance of Jokowi (together with running mate Jusuf Kalla) in the debate which was broadcast live on several Indonesian television stations. As a result, the Indonesian rupiah appreciated 0.84 percent according to the central bank’s mid-rate (and 1.35 percent according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index).
| Source: Bank Indonesia
Indonesian Rupiah vs US Dollar: