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Today's Headlines US Economy

  • Currency of Indonesia: Rupiah versus US Dollar on Monday

    Currency of Indonesia: Rupiah versus US Dollar on Monday

    The Indonesian rupiah is appreciating against the US dollar on Monday (06/02). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had appreciated 0.13 percent to IDR 13,325 per US dollar by 12:15 pm local Jakarta time. It is assumed that optimism about Indonesia's improving economic fundamentals in combination with rebounding commodity prices and slower-than-expected US economic growth supports the currency of Indonesia. Meanwhile, other Asian emerging market currencies are also appreciating against the greenback.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Thin Trade ahead of Celebrations

    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.

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  • Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rate, Signals at 3 Hikes in 2017

    Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rate, Signals at 3 Hikes in 2017

    The Federal Reserve decided - in line with expectations - to raise its benchmark Fed Funds Rate by 0.25 percent to the range of 0.50 - 0.75 percent, exactly one year after its first rate hike (in a decade). Furthermore, the Fed Chair Janet Yellen also indicated it sees three more interest rate hikes in 2017. This is a bit more hawkish than markets expected. Tighter monetary policy in the USA is required as the US labor market and growth in household spending improves. Inflation has also improved but remains below the Fed's 2 percent (y/y) target. Business investment, however, remains soft.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Again Under Pressure, Trump Effect

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Again Under Pressure, Trump Effect

    Donald Trump becoming US president causes investors to re-evaluate emerging market assets, and Indonesia is among the biggest victims. Trump is eager to make the USA "great again", partly by using the protectionist approach. Considering Trump may be supported by the Republican-controlled US Congress, investors see a real chance for realization of Trump's plans (which include infrastructure development, tax cuts, as well as the exiting of free trade and environment deals). This has a big impact on emerging markets.

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  • IMF Cuts Global Growth Outlook 2015; BI Sees Flat Growth in Q2-2015

    IMF Cuts Global Growth Outlook 2015; BI Sees Flat Growth Q2-2015

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for global economic growth in 2015 to 3.3 percent (y/y), from 3.5 percent (y/y) previously, as the harsh winter impacted on the US economy and drags down global growth accordingly. In the first quarter of 2015, the US economy contracted 0.2 percent (y/y). Moreover, turmoil in Greece and China cause great volatility on international financial markets, the Washington-based institution said in an update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) on Thursday (09/07).

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  • Stocks & Currency: Asian Emerging Markets Relieved after Fed Minutes

    Stocks & Currency: Asian Emerging Markets Relieved after Fed Minutes

    Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting (17-18 March), released Wednesday (08/04), show that the US central bank is divided about the timing of higher US interest rates. Several policymakers would approve such an interest rate hike in June 2015, while others would prefer to see rates increase later this year or even next year as they consider that the US economy is still not strong enough yet. However, when reading the minutes there are some signs suggesting that the institution is on course to raise its key rate this year.

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  • Currency Update: Indonesia’s Rupiah Continues to Weaken against US Dollar

    Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate continued to depreciate on Wednesday (07/01). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency had depreciated 0.66 percent to IDR 12,731 per US dollar by 15:50 pm local Jakarta time amid prolonged weak global sentiments. Falling oil prices signal sluggish global economic growth - with the exception of the US economy which is showing structural recovery and thus fuels expectation of higher US interest rates - and speculation that Greece may exit the Eurozone.

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah Rate Falls to Weakest Level since August 1998

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated to its lowest level since August 1998 (when Indonesia was in the early recovery stage from the Asian Financial Crisis). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 1.78 percent to IDR 12,689 per US dollar by 12:50 pm local Jakarta time on Monday (15/12). This weak performance is caused by bullish momentum of the US dollar (amid the improving US economy) in combination with local year-end US dollar demand for debt repayments.

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  • Federal Reserve Maintains US Interest Rates at Near Zero Levels

    Despite some concern about inflation, the US Federal Reserve stated that it will keep interest rates close to zero. The central bank announced this after the two-day policy meeting (Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC). Ahead of the meeting, market participants had increasingly speculated about the chance of sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes as US economic data has generally been positive (including 4.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter and weekly jobless claims that declined to near record lows).

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Dilemma: Reducing or Maintaining the BI Rate at 7.50%?

    There are mixed opinions about the interest rate policy of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). Tomorrow (11/09), at the Board of Governor’s Meeting, the central bank will decide whether or not to change the country’s interest rates. Indonesia’s benchmark interest rate (BI rate) has been held at 7.50 percent for ten consecutive months. This relatively high figure managed to ease high inflation (which emerged after prices of subsidized fuel prices were raised in June 2013). However, it also further slowed economic growth.

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Latest Columns US Economy

  • Impact Trump Presidency on Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia

    Impact Trump Presidency on Foreign Direct Investment in Indonesia

    Donald Trump becoming next US president in January 2017 will not affect foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia according to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). Trump's election caused a huge wave of uncertainty in financial markets worldwide. However, the BKPM remains committed to its investment realization targets (including both domestic and foreign direct investment) of IDR 594.8 trillion (approx. USD $44.7 billion) in 2016 and IDR 631.5 trillion (approx. USD $47.5 billion) in 2017.

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Amid weakening emerging Asian currencies, Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate touched a six-year low on Friday (12/12) after US consumer spending rose in November while US jobless claims fell (signalling a strong recovery in the world’s largest economy). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah depreciated 0.95 percent to IDR 12,467 per US dollar on Friday. Besides the impact of the US dollar’s bullish momentum, the rupiah also weakened on year-end US dollar demand from local companies for debt payments.

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  • Stock Market Update Indonesia: Rising 0.23% on Jokowi’s Inauguration

    Global Economy, IDX, IHSG, Indonesia Stock Exchange, Jakarta Composite Index, Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, JISDOR, Rupiah, Rupiah Exchange Rate, US Economy, Wall Street, Jokowi, Joko Widodo, Federal Reserve,

    It was a good start of the week for the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as the Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG). Various factors, both internal and external, managed to push the index higher on Monday (20/10). Externally, the IHSG was supported by positive Asian indices which responded to last week’s good US economic data (building permits, housing starts, and consumer sentiment). Moreover, the sharply appreciating Indonesian rupiah exchange rate made Indonesian assets more attractive.

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  • Concerns about the Global Economy also Hurt Indonesian Stocks

    In line with global stock indices, the benchmark index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined on Thursday’s trading day. Falling indices on Wall Street were a major concern to global investors as weak corporate and economic data may indicate that the economic recovery of the USA is not as structural as previously assumed. The NY empire state manufacturing index, US retail sales, US chain store sales, and US business inventories all weakened and ‘infected’ Asian stock indices, including the IHSG.

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  • Update Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Performance

    Update Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Performance

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 11,822 per US dollar in the past week (based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index). Several internal and external factors influenced the currency’s performance over the past week, such as increased US dollar demand from local Indonesian companies, Bank Indonesia’s decision to leave the BI rate unchanged and the improving US economy. Lastly, the structural current account deficit (triggered by expensive oil imports) remains a problem for investors.

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  • Rupiah Down but Indonesian Stocks Overcome Weak Economic Data

    Rupiah Down but Indonesian Stocks Overcome Weak Economic Data

    Although initially the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as Jakarta Composite index or IHSG) fell after the market responded to today's release of Indonesia's April trade deficit and May inflation, the index ended in the green zone due to foreign net buying and general positive Asian indices (influenced by higher stock indices on Wall Street at the end of last week). Particularly Indonesia's big cap stocks in the miscellaneous industry and consumer sectors were popular as these were relatively cheap after having tumbled at the end of last week.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index Declines 1.84% on US Contraction in Q1-2014

    Asian stocks declined on Friday's trading day (30/05) after a government report showed that the US economy - the world's largest economy - shrank by one percent (year-on-year) in the first quarter of 2014, the country's first contraction since early 2011. The contraction was far worse than the initial forecast at 0.1 percent. The main cause of the contraction was the severe winter that hit the USA. The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index) fell 1.84 percent to 4,893.91 points on Friday (30/05).

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Update: Depreciating 0.46% on US Economic Data

    Indonesian Rupiah Update: Depreciating 0.46% on US Economic Data

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate continued its recent depreciating trend on Wednesday (28/05). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency had depreciated 0.46 percent to IDR 11,633 against the US dollar at the end of the trading day. The rupiah's performance is in line with the general trend in Asia where most currencies lost ground to the greenback on today's trading day. As various US economic data indicate a continued recovery of the US economy, the market expects more US monetary tightening.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate to Stabilize Near Current Level

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had depreciated (0.15 percent) to IDR 11,665 per US dollar on Thursday (27/02), 15:00 local Jakarta time, based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo stated yesterday to expect the currency to stabilize near current levels in line with its economic fundamentals ahead of looming further Federal Reserve tapering. Analysts estimate that Indonesia's trade balance might deteriorate in January 2014 as the impact of the mineral-ore export ban kicks in.

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  • Both Indonesia's Rupiah and Stock Index Strengthen on Wednesday

    Positive market sentiments stemming from Wall Street pushed Indonesia's benchmark stock index (known as the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) further up on Wednesday (12/02). Even though technical indicators (such as the bollinger band) suggest that the majority of Indonesian stocks are close to the overbought area, it did not prevent investors from stock trading. The appreciating rupiah exchange rate, rising Asian indices and positive openings in Europe all contributed to the IHSG's 0.58 percent gain to 4,496.29 points.

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