Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down on US Economic Data

    Although the Indonesia stock exchange as well as most businesses are still closed on Friday (01/08) amid Idul Fitri celebrations, trading in the Indonesian rupiah resumed after a four-day holiday. Impacted by developments in the USA, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had depreciated 1.82 percent to IDR 11,791 per US dollar by 12:25 pm local Jakarta time (based on Bloomberg Index). Asian currencies are heading for the largest weekly decline since June 2014 after US economic data indicate improved economic recovery of the USA.

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  • US Economy Grows 4% in Q2-2014 amid Improved Consumer Spending

    US gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of 2014 expanded 4 percent year-on-year (yoy), thus having nearly doubled from the GDP growth pace in the first quarter (2.1 percent yoy) when the USA was hit by severe winter weather. The US economic growth pace in Q2-2014 also exceeded analysts' forecasts who expected US GDP growth to range between 2 and 2.5 percent. Strong growth was caused by improved US consumer spending (expanding 2.5 percent and contributing over two-thirds to total economic activity in the USA).

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  • US Economy Improves; Federal Reserve Expected to Continue Tapering

    While some investors hope that the European Central Bank will enhance monetary easing by pumping more funds in the economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue monetary tightening. On 29-30 July, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets and probably reduce the bond-buying program (quantitative easing) by another chunk of USD $10 billion to USD $25 billion in August. Since the start of 2014 when the Fed bought USD $85 billion worth of bonds per month, the program has been wound down amid an improving US economy.

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  • Singapore Largest Foreign Investor in Indonesia in the First Half of 2014

    According to the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Singapore is the largest foreign investor in Indonesia. In the first half of 2014, Indonesia received USD $3.4 billion worth of investments from Singapore. In total, foreign companies invested IDR 150 trillion (USD $12.9 billion) in Indonesia during the first six months of 2014. This is the highest amount of foreign investment that Indonesia has ever managed to attract in a six-month period. It also diluted fears that the legislative and presidential elections would cause a temporary slowdown.

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  • Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    The US dollar continues to depreciate against emerging currencies after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting, released Wednesday (09/07), suggest that the US central bank will maintain historic low interest rates (0.0 - 0.25 percent) into 2015. The Fed informed that US interest rates hikes will only occur ”a considerable time” after the US asset-buying program (quantitative easing) has ended. Based on the latest minutes, this program is expected to end in October 2014.

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  • IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde stated on Sunday (06/07) that the institution expects improved global economic growth in the second half of 2014 as well as in 2015 supported by the assumption that China, the world’s second-largest economy, will expand between 7.0 and 7.5 percent in 2014, thus not showing a sharp slowdown. Later this month, the IMF will release its new global economic outlook. Lagarde said that forecasts will be slightly different from forecasts made in the April edition.

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  • World Bank Cuts its Global Economic Growth Forecast to 2.8% in 2014

    The World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast because of the weaker outlooks for the economies of the USA, Russia and China, as well as the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine which triggered worldwide concerns. The Washington-based institution expects to see 2.8 percent of global economic growth in 2014, far below its January 2014 estimate of 3.2 percent. However, it kept its global growth forecasts for the next two years at 3.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Appreciating on Weak US Data

    Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.23 percent to IDR 11,603 per US dollar on Thursday (24/04). The currency's performance was particularly influenced by weak new US single-family homes sales. These sales fell more than expected and hit a five-month low in February 2014, implying that there is continued weakness in the US housing market. Meanwhile, US durable goods orders and US initial jobless claims, which will be released later today, are expected to be weak too.

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  • Bappenas Expects Indonesia to Record a Trade Surplus in 2014

    Indonesian exports are expected to rise 6.7 percent to IDR 1,399.7 trillion (USD $123.9 billion) in 2014 as a number of advanced markets (including the United States) have been showing signs of improving economies (the calculation of the figures was done by the Ministry of National Development Planning also known as Bappenas). Increased demand from these advanced markets will result in more exports of Indonesian manufactured products. Indonesian exports of natural resources, on the contrary, are expected to slow.

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  • Emerging Asian Currencies Rise on US Jobs; Market Waiting for FOMC Minutes

    Most emerging currencies in Asia appreciated against the US dollar on Monday (07/04) as the 192,000 jobs that were added by US employers in March 2014 are believed to be too low to trigger an early interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. The new jobs data did not meet expectation, particularly after the strong US private jobs report. Meanwhile, trading in Asia was subdued as China's financial markets were closed (due to the Qingming Festival also known as Tomb Sweeping Day).

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Latest Columns USA

  • 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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  • Contrary to Most Emerging Currencies, Indonesian Rupiah Depreciates

    On Wednesday (26/03), most emerging Asian currencies appreciated against the US dollar as the region's shares hit a two-week high on upbeat US economic data in combination with reduced concern over the crisis in Crimea (Ukraine). However, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate was one of the exceptions to this trend on today's trading day. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 0.16 percent to IDR 11,412 at 16:15 local Jakarta time. Meanwhile, the Chinese yuan recovered some of its earlier losses.

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  • New Week Starts with Strong Indonesian Rupiah and Climbing IHSG

    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.

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  • Further US Tapering and Looming Interest Rate Hike Impact on Indonesia

    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.

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  • Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index Climbs 0.33% on Wednesday

    We expected that Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (the country's benchmark stock index also known as IHSG) would continue to weaken on Wednesday's trading day (19/03) but net buying by foreign investors managed to push the index back into green territory. During the first two days of this week, the IHSG fell as euphoria over Joko Widodo's announcement to run for president in the 2014 elections faded. Last week, the market showed that they approve of Widodo as the IHSG climbed 3.23 percent on Friday (14/03).

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Jakarta Composite Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Previously we were hoping that if global stock indices would turn positive, it could limit the fall of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) as the 'Jokowi effect' has definately worn off. On Tuesday (18/03), investors continued to engage in profit taking causing the IHSG to plunge 1.45 percent to 4,805.61 points. While most Asian indices were up, influenced by rising indices on Wall Street and in Europe on the previous trading day (17/03), the IHSG deviated sharply from the Asian trend today.

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  • Most Asian Currencies Down against USD but Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates

    Although immediately plunging 0.33 percent to IDR 11,478 per US dollar after its opening on Monday (10/03), the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.57 percent to IDR 11,375 per US dollar by 14:00 local Jakarta time (Bloomberg Dollar Index). The rupiah's performance today is in sharp contrast with other Asian currencies. As US nonfarm payrolls increased more than expected and Chinese exports fell sharply (18.1 percent year-on-year) in February 2014, the US dollar appreciated against most Asian currencies.

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  • Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    According to the World Bank, a sharp dismantling of capital injections by the central banks can lead to a 80 percent reduction of capital inflows into the emerging economies, including Indonesia. This can cause serious damage or even a crisis situation in an emerging market because capital flows to these countries are more triggered by global factors than domestic ones. The winding down of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program (quantitative easing) has been gradual for now but if interest rates rise quickly it can hurt emerging economies.

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  • January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    Fed's January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    On Wednesday (18/12), the Federal Reserve announced to slightly scale back its quantitative easing program starting from January 2014. The reduction of the bond-buying program involves USD $5 billion of mortgage-backed securities and USD $5 billion of US treasury securities. Thus, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of USD $75 billion worth of bonds per month instead of the current pace of USD $85 billion. For the moment, this policy change has an euphoric effect on global stock markets.

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  • Indonesia’s Stock Index (IHSG) Up on US Economic Data on Tuesday

    Wall Street, which was up on Monday (16/12) supported by various economic data, managed to support Asian stock indices on Tuesday (17/12), including Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (IHSG). Investors were back and ready to trade on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. As usual, the big cap stocks were highly popular. The rupiah’s Bank Indonesia mid-rate, which improved slightly, also contributed to the good performance of the IHSG today. The index rose 1.37 percent to 4,182.35 points.

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