Asia's stock indices were up after various US economic data (including non-farm payrolls and consumer confidence) were better than expected, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (also known as the Jakarta Composite index or IHSG). The index climbed 0.80 percent to 4,214.34 points on Monday (09/12). Supported by foreign net buying, almost all sectoral indices of the IHSG were up. The economic policy package that was released by the Ministry of Economy this afternoon also provided support for the index and the rupiah.
Although an improving US economy implies that the end of the Federal Reserve's USD $85 billion bond buying program (quantitative easing) is getting nearer, it had no negative impact on Asian stocks today. Moreover, China posted a positive trade balance (a four-year high trade surplus at USD $33.8 billion in November 2013) with exports jumping 12.7 percent (yoy). Although Japan's current account fell into a deficit and the country's third quarter GDP growth was lower than expected at 1.1 percent, market participants responded positive as the disappointing figures triggered speculation that the Bank of Japan will maintain its stimulus program.
Tomorrow a column will be devoted to today's released economic policy package.