Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Thin Trade ahead of Celebrations
On the last trading day before the Christmas break, Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell for the ninth straight day, the longest losing streak since August 2005. On Friday (23/12) the index fell 0.30 percent to 5,027.70 points. The performance of Indonesian stocks was in line with other markets in Asia. Ahead of Christmas and New Year festivities, trade volume is low as investors are taking a break. Meanwhile, there are no positive sentiments stemming from the Indonesian market.
Interestingly enough, foreign investors recorded a net buy in Indonesia on Friday. Foreigners, who accounted for 33 percent of total trade, purchased IDR 457.6 billion (approx. USD $34 million) more in Indonesian shares than they sold. Domestic investors, however, were the ones who recorded a net sale. Conglomerate Astra International was one of the big victims. Its shares plunged 2.66 percent.
Bank Indonesia's Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR) depreciated 0.26 percent to IDR 13,470 per US dollar on Friday (23/12).
Indonesian Rupiah vs US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia
The US dollar strengthened as US economic growth in Q3-2016 was revised up to an inflation- and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.5 percent from last month's 3.2 percent estimate, implying the Federal Reserve can remain committed to its plans to push for monetary tightening by three more interest rate hikes in 2017.
On Friday (23/12) the central banks of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand signed two bilateral memoranda of understanding (MOUs)in order to facilitate the use of local currencies for settlements of trade and direct investments. These MOUs imply that businesses should benefit from reduced transaction costs and more efficient trade and investment settlements by being able to choose the local currency in which they want to trade.
On Tuesday (27/12) markets will reopen in Indonesia.