The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) sees easing pressures in the global economy in May 2016, reflected by the rising crude oil price. On Thursday (26/05), crude futures exceeded the USD $50 per barrel level for the first time since November 2015 (supported by production disruptions in Canada). Although oil futures declined again the following day on profit taking, the rising trend has persisted. In early 2016 crude oil traded below USD $30 a barrel, plunging some 21 months due to the global supply glut and weak global economic growth.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,298,608 confirmed infections, 35,014 deaths (23 February 2021)
23 February 2021 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,146) -6.00 -0.04%
EUR/IDR (17,335) +57.05 +0.33%
Jakarta Composite Index (6,272.81) +17.50 +0.28%
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Today's Headlines US Interest Rate
Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate weakened on Friday’s trading day (30/01) in line with the performance of several other Asian currencies. South Korea’s won fell on strengthening expectations of an interest rate cut and Japan’s yen declined on the slowdown of government bond sales. For market participants these were reasons to purchase US dollars at the expense of the rupiah. Indonesia’s currency had depreciated 0.41 percent to IDR 12,633 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index at 2:35 pm local Jakarta time.
Indonesia's Finance Minister Chatib Basri is optimistic that Indonesia's economic growth can reach 5.8 to 6.0 percent in 2014. According to Basri, three factors support this expectation: strong household consumption, an improving global economy, and the impact of Indonesia's legislative and presidential elections (scheduled for April and July 2014). However, one of the biggest challenges for the Indonesian government will be to offset the impact of further US Federal Reserve tapering and US interest rate hikes in 2015 and 2016.
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The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country’s current account deficit will only ease slightly in 2014. Last year, the deficit reached 3.3 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), a level which is generally considered unsustainable and leads to reduced investor confidence. Countries that have to cope with a wide current account deficit, such as Indonesia and India, are highly vulnerable in times of global shocks as investors will quickly withdraw their investments from assets in these countries.
Indonesia's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) is expected to be maintained at 7.50 percent at Bank Indonesia's Board of Governor's Meeting on Tuesday 8 April 2014. Despite Indonesia's moderating inflation rate (7.32 percent year on year in March 2014) and the February 2014 trade surplus of USD $785 million, the BI rate may be left unchanged in order to support the further easing of Indonesia's current account deficit and to offset the impact of the possible US interest rate hikes in 2015 and 2016.
At the start of the new week, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) was able to continue to climb, supported by positive Asian indices. Today, investors took advantage of discounted stocks in Asia as markets had fallen after the Federal Reserve's announcement last week that the quantitative easing program would be wound down further as well as a possible US interest rate hike in 2015 and 2016. However, the IHSG was also vulnerable to profit taking. Therefore, today's gain was limited.
The US Federal Reserve's plan to increase interest rates is a serious threat to the stock and bonds markets of emerging markets, including Indonesia, in 2014. The higher Fed Fund rate will result in a high cost bonds-climate in Indonesia. The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday (19/03) that it continues to cut its quantitative easing program (QE3) by USD $10 billion in March 2014 as well as aims for an interest rate hike six months after the 'tapering' has ended. With the current pace, QE3 is expected to end in December 2014.
Contrary to the expectation of most analysts, the Federal Reserve decided to continue its monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing, and retained the low interest rate of 0.25 percent. Although coming as a surprise, the news was well-received by the investor community all around the world, who were eager and confident to purchase stocks. The benchmark stock index of Indonesia, IHSG, felt this impact too and rose 4.65 percent to 4,670.73 points.
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