Completely opposite to our expectations, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) managed to climb 0.57 percent to 4,862.02 points on Wednesday (07/05). The gain was unexpected as there were no clear factors that could provide positive market sentiments. Moreover, today's Asian stock indices were mostly down. Coincidence or not, tomorrow Bank Indonesia will announce whether its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) - currently set at 7.50 percent - will be changed or maintained.
I expect that the BI rate will be maintained at 7.50 percent as several economic data (inflation and the trade balance) are showing an improving trend. Moreover, in June and July there may be inflationary pressures due to the holy fasting month (Ramadan) and subsequent Idul Fitri celebrations - which both give rise to increased household consumption - as well as higher electricity prices.
Higher commodity prices were probably the reason behind Indonesia's rising plantation and mining stocks.
Asian indices were mostly down due to the appreciating Japanese yen (against the US dollar). This caused the Nikkei index to fall, dragging other Asian indices down with it.
Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate
The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.51 percent to 11,578 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. As usual, ahead of the central bank's Board of Governor's Meeting, the currency tends to depreciate, particularly when market participants expect that the BI rate will be maintained as that will not bring new stimulans for the rupiah.
Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.13 percent to IDR 11,527 against the US dollar on Wednesday (07/05).