Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Back in the Red
Stock indices in Asia were mixed on Wednesday (18/11), while most emerging market currencies depreciated against the US dollar. The Indonesian rupiah was under pressure - touching a six week low - after the central bank (Bank Indonesia) cut the primary minimum statutory reserves from 8.00 percent to 7.50 percent (effective per 1 December 2015), hence providing local financial institutions approximately USD $1.8 billion more in liquidity. However, it may not be enough to trigger an increase in lending as banks are more focused on lending quality than quantity.
Markets are still plagued by uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates. However, the majority of market participants still believe that the Federal Reserve will raise its key Fed Fund Rate in the December policy meeting. In fact, expectations of a December rate hike heightened after US inflation picked up in October (+0.2 percent) after falling in the previous two months.
Additional pressure on the rupiah came from US dollar demand from local importers. The rupiah depreciated 0.53 percent to IDR 13,819 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.38 percent to IDR 13,763 per US dollar on Wednesday (18/11).
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia
Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) fell 0.07 percent to 4,497.91 points on Wednesday (18/11) in quiet trading as investors are cautious and tend to wait & see. On Tuesday evening there were also reports about possible further terrorist attacks (bomb scare) resulting in the cancelation of a friendly football game between the Netherlands and Germany.
Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG):
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