Ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision, Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index surged a whopping 1.49 percent to 5,792.90 points in Wednesday (14/06). The US Fed, which is to conclude its two-day policy meeting later today, is widely assumed to raise its key short-term interest rate by 0.25 percent, which would be the third rate hike in six months. For Indonesian stocks it was a new record high. Not only Indonesia but most stock indexes climbed in Asia ahead of the Federal Reserve decision.
Considering the US job market has improved the Federal Reserve is expected to raise its benchmark rate to the range of 1.00 - 1.25 percent later today. As such, this rate hike should be priced in already. However, there are several other reasons why market participants are eager to study the Fed's statements that are scheduled to be released later today. Firstly, investors want to find clues about the Fed's stance on further rate raises this year (whether US political turmoil has made the Fed more cautious and whether a slowdown in economic growth and inflation at the start of 2017 is still regarded "transitory" by the Fed).
Secondly, market participants seek information about the Fed's possible balance sheet reductions (as gradual reductions in its portfolio may raise long-term rates). Lastly, we seek any signals about US government-Fed relations or the Fed's stance on the impact of US politics on the economy (and monetary policy). At 18:00 GMT the Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its monetary policy decision.
Stocks in Asia were also supported by rising US stocks, overnight, that snapped the two-day drop, led by technology companies. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.5 percent, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 percent on Tuesday (13/06).
Indonesia's blue chips, foreign investors' darling, had a good day. Shares of Astra International rose 3.98 percent, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) climbed 2.59 percent, Bank Mandiri surged 2.04 percent, HM Sampoerna rose 1.05 percent, and Gudang Garam climbed 1.71 percent on Wednesday.
Tomorrow, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will conclude its monthly policy meeting. It is expected to leave its monetary policy unchanged with the 7-day reverse repurchase rate at 4.75 percent (where it has been since October 2016).
Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah appreciated 0.11 percent to IDR 13,277 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). This is modest strengthening and it could be that Bank Indonesia is intervening in the market in order to prevent the rupiah from strengthening too much as that would be negative for the nation's exporters.