Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 248,852 confirmed infections, 9,677 deaths (21 September 2020)
21 September 2020 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,951) +2.00 +0.01%
EUR/IDR (17,446) +13.55 +0.08%
Jakarta Composite Index (4,999.36) -59.86 -1.18%
Most European stock indices rose sharply on Monday (02/09) as investors were happy to see favorable industrial data from China and the Eurozone. The benchmark stock indices in Paris, Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam climbed up to 1.8 percent. Trade was relatively quiet as Wall Street was closed due to Labor Day celebrations. However, it may be a 'calm before the storm' because on Friday (06/09) new official data about U.S. job creation will be released, while next week more clarity about a military operation in Syria is expected.
Job creation is one of the foremost indicators of consumer spending (which accounts for the majority of economic activity). A positive outcome of U.S. job creation is expected to have a big impact on the Federal Reserve's stance on its quantitative easing program (QE3). Through this monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program, cheap U.S. dollars flowed to emerging markets, including Indonesia, giving rise to significantly rising stock indices and currencies. However, after the Fed stated to be considering to tone down or end its program altogether towards the end of 2013 (depending on U.S. employment and inflation data), many foreign funds were pulled out from emerging markets.
Regarding the possible military action in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama said he will seek approval from the Congress first (although he also made it clear that approval from the Congress is actually not needed to engage in military actions against Syria). In the week of 9 September, Congress will vote about this issue. In recent weeks, the threat of military actions in Syria has been sufficient to cause turmoil on global financial markets. This is expected to intensify when the military actions will go-ahead.
Good financial data from China that were partly responsible for rising European indices on Monday (02/09) involved China's industrial activity. According to numbers released by China's government and the British HSBC, industrial activity increased in August. This seems to indicate that China's economy, the world's second largest economy, is showing signs of recovery. China is one of the most important trading partners of Indonesia. Therefore, when economic activity in China is rising in a stable manner, it will result in higher demand for Indonesian commodities and thus impact positively on Indonesia's trade balance (commodities account for around 60 percent of Indonesia's exports). In recent months, investors have been highly concerned about Indonesia's widening current account deficit.
Similarly, (August) industrial activity in the Eurozone rose to the highest level of the last two years. This looks like the first small steps towards a structural recovery of the Eurozone. The Eurozone's August manufacturing PMI stood at 51.4, a sharp increase compared to July's 50.3 (a result above 50 indicates growth). More importantly, it is not only Germany that carries the growth rate, but also other Eurozone members, including Spain and Italy, posted industrial growth.