Previously we were hoping that if global stock indices would turn positive, it could limit the fall of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) as the 'Jokowi effect' has definately worn off. On Tuesday (18/03), investors continued to engage in profit taking causing the IHSG to plunge 1.45 percent to 4,805.61 points. While most Asian indices were up, influenced by rising indices on Wall Street and in Europe on the previous trading day (17/03), the IHSG deviated sharply from the Asian trend today.
Particularly Indonesian large cap stocks felt the negative impact of profit taking. Shares of Gudang Garam, Unilever Indonesia, Indo Tambangraya Megah and Semen Indonesia were among the top losers of the day. The depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and weak stock openings in Europe on Tuesday (18/03) exacerbated negative market sentiments.
Positive US economic data (mentioned below) made a good impact on a number of Asian indices. Particularly technology stocks were popular such as Mitsubishi Electric Corp, LG Electronics Inc, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Lower house price index and foreign direct investment (FDI) in China did not result in negative market sentiments as it is expected to persuade China's government to opt for monetary easing. The continued depreciation of the Japanese yen had a good impact on exporters' stocks.
After having experienced a period of sharp appreciation against the US dollar since the start of 2014, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate (IDR) was corrected on Tuesday (18/03) as it responded to US National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index that rose less than expected in March 2014, US manufacturing and industrial production (which rose 0.6 percent in February 2014, the largest increase since September 2013), and the improved US Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Market participants used these data and the internal factors in Indonesia to purchase US dollars. Furthermore, ahead of the FOMC meeting, investors prefer to wait and see, resulting in a stronger US dollar.