Contrary to most other Asian stock indices, Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index opened in the green zone on Monday morning (05/12). While, most markets are plagued by the outcome of Italy's referendum on Sunday (and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announcing his resignation), Indonesian stocks still seem to continue with the relief rally after the peaceful anti-Ahok demonstration on Friday (02/12). However, rupiah weakness, particularly as the US Federal Reserve may raise rates can limit the rise of local stocks.
By 11:00 am local Jakarta time, the Jakarta Composite Index was up 0.40 percent to 5,266.82 points, while the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate was flat at IDR 13,512 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index).
In the referendum in Italy on Sunday (04/12) voters were asked whether they approve a constitutional law amending the Italian constitution to reform the composition and powers of the Italian parliament, and the division of powers between the state, the regions, and administrative entities. Voters clearly said "no", implying that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi - who had put forward the bill - will step down from his post.
Investors are concerned that the "no-vote" will jeopardize the stability of Italy's banking sector and therefore also become an international issue (several Italian banks have sizeable bad loans). Some fear that - amid rising political uncertainty - the Italian people may also support an exit from the European Union (similar to the "Brexit"). All in all, most investors are in search of safe haven assets today.
Today is also a historic day as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect was launched. This gives mainland investors access to Hong Kong-listed stocks, and allows global investors to trade Shenzhen-listed stocks. Most Chinese stocks, however, are in the red zone on Monday (05/12).
Meanwhile, markets were surprised to see New Zealand Prime Minister John Key - after eight years in office - announce he is to step down. Key is one of the longest-serving conservative leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. His statement was a big surprise and sent the Kiwi Dollar into weaker territory.