After the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's 16-17 September policy meeting (FOMC), Indonesian assets (rupiah and stocks) strengthened significantly on Friday (09/10). The minutes, released on Thursday (08/10), show that the US central bank prefers to postpone a US interest rate hike for now in order to wait for additional information that informs whether the US economic growth outlook will not deteriorate due to global conditions. Moreover, US inflation remains stuck at low levels (far below the Fed's 2 percent target) due to lower oil prices and the strong US dollar.
Earlier this week, the IMF cut its forecast for global economic growth in 2015 and 2016 by 0.2 percentage point mainly on the back of slowing growth in emerging markets. China's economic slowdown may spill over to other emerging markets and could make the strong US dollar even stronger. This would then cause a weaker performance of US exports. A Fed Fund Rate hike would cause even more bullish US dollar momentum as capital flows back to the USA.
By 09:20 am local Jakarta time the Indonesian rupiah had appreciated 2.97 percent to IDR 13,474 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, a remarkable performance (the rupiah now having appreciated 9 percent against the US dollar since the start of October). Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index had climbed 1.49 percent to 4,558.28 points by the same time on Friday (09/10).