Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • 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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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Moves Sideways on Friday

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate moved rather sideways on Friday (04/04). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency appreciated 0.06 percent to IDR 11,316 per US dollar. Most emerging Asian currencies tended to depreciate against the greenback as the market is waiting for US unemployment data, released later today. Overall, market participants remain confident in Indonesia's economic fundamentals as inflation eased to 7.32 percent (yoy) in March, while the country posted a trade surplus of USD $785 million in February.

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  • Market Waiting for Economic Data; Indonesian Rupiah Depreciates 0.25%

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.25 percent to IDR 11,323 per US dollar on Thursday (03/04) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Analysts Rangga Cipta (Samuel Sekuritas Indonesia) and Zulfirman Basir (Monex Investindo Futures) expect the rupiah to move sideways or weaken toward the end of the week as the market is waiting for various data, including the meeting of the European Central Bank regarding its interest rate (03/04), US unemployment, US nonfarm payrolls and US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Rate Up 0.15%; Market Participants Waiting for US Data

    Indonesia Rupiah Rate Up 0.15%; Market Participants Waiting for US Data

    Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.15 percent to IDR 11,647 per US dollar on Wednesday (26/02). All through the day, the currency traded within a fairly narrow trading range, possibly due to market participants' wait and see attitude ahead of the release of important US economic indicators. As the US economy is improving and the US unemployment rate is declining, the Federal Reserve may wind down its quantitative easing program in a more aggressive manner soon.

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Latest Columns USA

  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Up on US and China Economic Data

    Asia's stock indices were up after various US economic data (including non-farm payrolls and consumer confidence) were better than expected, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (also known as the Jakarta Composite index or IHSG). The index climbed 0.80 percent to 4,214.34 points on Monday (09/12). Supported by foreign net buying, almost all sectoral indices of the IHSG were up. The economic policy package that was released by the Ministry of Economy this afternoon also provided support for the index and the rupiah.

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  • Market Insecure about Future of QE3; IHSG Extends Losing Streak on Friday

    On the last day of the trading week (22/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.19 percent to 4,317.96 points thereby extending its losing streak to three days as investors remain concerned about the looming end - or at least winding down - of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion bond buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). Foreign investors recorded a net sell of IDR 38 billion (USD $3.3 million). The other indices in Asia were mixed. The Hang Seng and Nikkei were up but the Shanghai Composite was down.

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  • FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Advance on Thursday

    Contrary to most Asian indices, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) managed to post a gain on Thursday (07/11). The IHSG seemed to follow the upward movement of Wall Street on the previous day (06/11) after a number of Federal Reserve officials stated to support the continuation of the Fed's monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program (quantitative easing). Despite continued foreign net selling, the IHSG index rose 0.82 percent to 4,486.11 points as domestic purchases offset foreign selling.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    On Monday (04/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.21 percent to 4,423.29 points. Besides the negative influence of falling indices across Asia and foreign net selling of Indonesian stocks, the IHSG was also dragged down by the continued depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate (against the US dollar). When US manufacturing data showed that manufacturing activity grew faster than expected in October, the US dollar gained and thus the rupiah became pressured.

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  • Amid Political Turmoil in the USA, Indonesia's Rupiah and IHSG Rise

    Although part of the market players on Indonesia's Stock Exchange (IDX) engaged in profit taking after Indonesia's benchmark index (IHSG) climbed for two consecutive days, the index still posted growth of 0.71 percent to 4,418.64 points on Thursday (03/10). Factors that contributed to today's gain were the depreciating US dollar as no solution has been found yet concerning the shutdown, generally rising Asian stock indices and the positive message that is conveyed in the APEC meeting in Bali.

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  • Indonesia Economic Update & Analysis: Opportunities Arise?

    It seems clear now how market conditions will be until the end of the year. Two important foreign issues - the US Federal Reserve's tapering of quantitative easing (QE3) as well as the US debt ceiling issue which resulted in a shutdown as the Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on the country's federal budget - and various economic data from Indonesia (inflation and the trade balance) have provided some more insight into the matter. I will discuss each topic one by one below.

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  • Concerns about US Debt Ceiling Talks Impacts on Indonesia's IHSG

    Concerns about the US debt ceiling issue have a negative impact on stock indices around the world, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG). Market players fear a possible deadlock during the state budget discussions, which - if not resolved - will have a serious negative impact on the economy. Factors that contributed to negative market sentiments were the continued depreciating value of rupiah and weak openings of European stock indices. The IHSG fell 2.43 percent to 4,316.18 on Monday (30/09).

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  • No Tapering is Bullish? The Federal Reserve Playing with the Global Market

    Starting from May 2013, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) has been on a weakening (bearish) trend inflicted by various reasons. First, in early May, Standard & Poor's downgraded Indonesia's credit rating due to the government's hesitancy to slash fuel subsidies. Then, the Federal Reserve started to speculate about ending its quantitative easing program. Capital outflows that followed indicated the vulnerable state of the Indonesian economy. Moreover, the controversial hike in fuel prices in late-June resulted in high inflation.

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  • The Impact of the Fed's Quantitative Easing Program on Emerging Indonesia

    Investors all around the world are in anticipation of the Federal Reserve's decision to scale back the monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). If indeed scaled back, then another important question remains: how much will the bond-buying program be toned down? Today (18/09), is the last day of the Fed's FOMC meeting in which these decisions are made. The market expects no drastic end to the program, instead a gradual toning down (between USD $10 to $20 billion) is anticipated.

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