Stock Market Update Asia: Mixed, Indonesia Slightly Weaker
Positive sentiments caused by the Group of 20 economies meeting in China have waned, hence most Asian stocks are lower on Tuesday (26/07). Instead, negative sentiments are caused by falling shares on Wall Street overnight as well as the declining crude oil price (touching a near three-month low). Market participants are also in 'wait and see-mode' ahead of the Federal Reserve's July two-day policy meeting (that starts later today) and the two-day policy meeting of the Bank of Japan that starts on Thursday.
Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) was down 0.13 percent at 5,214.07 points by 11:15 am local Jakarta time, while the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.10 percent to IDR 13,155 per US dollar by the same time based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan is leading losses in Asia - although markets somewhat pared losses later on the day - due to the strengthening yen (against the US dollar), despite the news that Japan's government plans to inject 6 trillion yen (approx. USD $57 billion) in direct fiscal outlays into the domestic economy over the next couple of years. This would be double the amount that was initially planned.
Chances are high that the US Federal Reserve will not alter its monetary stance at the July policy meeting that is set to start today, thus leaving interest rates unchanged. However, investors are eager to study the meeting's accompanying statement that is published by the US central bank as it may provide clues about the timing of a future interest rate hike. After the Brexit vote in late-June (Britain's decision to exit the European Union), speculation about another US interest rate hike ceased given the high degree of uncertainty in global financial markets that was caused by Brexit. However, as the direct negative impact of Brexit on markets was short-lived, while the USA released solid macroeconomic data, speculation about another US interest rate hike has re-emerged.
On Monday (25/07), US stocks fell modestly as investors took a break after one month of gains that caused indices to reach record high levels. Particularly energy stocks fell on the declining oil price and profit taking. On Monday (25/07) the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4 percent to 18,493.06, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.3 percent to 2,168.48, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.1 percent to finish at 5,097.63.
Meanwhile, after falling significantly on Monday (25/07), touching three-month lows, crude oil prices inched up higher on Tuesday, supported by the weaker US dollar, although concern of the structural oversupply continues to weigh on markets. Analysts therefore expect oil prices to show a weakening trend in the foreseeable future. International Brent crude oil futures were up USD $0.08 to USD $44.80 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up USD $0.03 to USD $43.16 per barrel today.
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