Looming End of Quantitative Easing Brings Down Stocks in Asia
On Thursday's trading day (21/11/13), the Jakarta Composite Index (Indonesia's benchmark stock index, or IHSG) fell 0.56 percent to 4,326.21 points as investors are concerned seeing the result of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which seems to indicate that the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program (quantitative easing) will be wound down within a couple of months. The IHSG was also negatively affected by the lower preliminary HSBC Manufacturing PMI of China.
Concerns about the future of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program and China's weaker preliminary HSBC Manufacturing PMI (down to 50.4 from 50.9 in October 2013) resulted in most stock indices in the Pacific-Asian region being in the red. Weakening commodity prices also impacted negatively on Asian stock indices. The only exception was Japan's Nikkei, which climbed as the US dollar surged against the yen due to the result of the FOMC meeting.
| Source: Bank Indonesia
The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate continued its downward spiral due to the looming end of the quantitative easing program amid an improving US economy. A winding down of the quantitative easing program would imply reduced US dollar liquidity and therefore result in an appreciating US dollar. The rupiah's fall was also influenced by the depreciating yen which tends to drag down other currencies in the Asia Pacific region. On Thursday's trading day (21/11), the rupiah fell 0.74 percent to IDR 11,717 per US dollar.
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