Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) surged 1.06 percent to 5,421.54 points shortly before closing on Thursday (02/03) as most Asian stock indices were in the green zone, lifted by the performance of Wall Street overnight. Indonesian stocks were actually the best performing stocks across Asia today. To explain why Indonesian stocks performed so well today, we need to look first at US stocks' performance overnight. It is all related to Trump's latest speech.
After US President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress on Wednesday (01/03), US stocks surged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke beyond the 21,000 point-level for the first time in its history, while the US dollar advanced and US treasuries fell. In his speech Trump again confirmed that he will boost public spending on infrastructure development and ease regulations (including corporate tax cuts and massive tax relief for the middle class) that have helped fuel a Wall Street stock rally since shortly after Trump's victory in the 2016 US presidential election in November.
Trump's policies are expected to boost the US economy and therefore will also lead to rising US interest rates. In fact, rising US fiscal spending is expected to make more Federal Reserve officials become member of the so-called "hawkish camp". Markets heard William Dudley, President of the New York Fed, state that the case for raising US interest rates had become "a lot more compelling". Even "usually-dovish" Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said an improving global economy and solid US economic recovery mean it will be "appropriate soon" for the US central bank to raise rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen (as well as Vice Chair Stanley Fischer) are set to speak on Friday, possibly providing more signals on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy path. Markets are increasingly expecting a Fed Funds Rate hike in this month. The next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is scheduled for 14-15 March.
Other matters that pushed Asian stocks higher on Thursday (02/03) were the continuation of yen weakening in Japan (which boosts Japanese shares as the nation's export-oriented stocks became more appealing), while crude oil prices itched higher and investor appetite also rose after a series of better-than-expected European and US manufacturing surveys.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah's performance was rather flat on Thursday (02/03), appreciating 0.04 percent to IDR 13,357 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) did not move at all on Thursday (02/03).
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia