The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) was again affected by profit taking after market participants saw falling indices on Wall Street and in Europe at the end of last week due to various negative sentiments including the Federal Reserve's tapering issue, slowing Chinese manufacturing and the release of several global companies' financial reports that were below expectation. Moreover, the rupiah exchange rate continued to depreciate while Asian indices were down on Monday (03/02).
All these factors combined led to the 0.74 percent decline of the IHSG on Monday. The index closed at 4,386.26 points. The release of January's inflation and December 2013 trade surplus were unable to turn the index into the green zone. Inflation in January was high at 1.07 percent month-to-month (amid severe rainfall and floods in several parts of Indonesia, which disrupting distribution networks) but market participants are aware that Indonesia's inflation rate in January is usually around this level. However, as the year-on-year inflation rate is still high at 8.22 percent investors fear that the central bank (Bank Indonesia) may raise its benchmark interest rate (BI Rate) again. Currently the BI rate is at 7.50 percent. Between June and November 2013, the central bank gradually raised the interest rate to combat high inflation as well as to support the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate by limiting imports. The December 2013 trade surplus of USD $1.52 billion was an unexpected surprise to most investors, almost twice the amount that had been forecast, mainly due to a surge in mineral ore exports ahead of the government ban on unprocessed minerals implemented on 12 January 2014.