Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • Weakening of Indonesian Rupiah Against US Dollar is Part of Global Trend

    According to various analysts and the central bank of Indonesia, the weakening of the IDR rupiah should not be too alarming as there currently is a global trend in which currencies, worldwide, weaken against the US Dollar. This situation is triggered by the economic recovery that has been experienced by the world's largest economy recently. Compared to other ASEAN members, the rupiah's decline is normal. The central bank adds that foreign capital inflows will return and will strengthen the country's currency.

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  • Capital Outflows from Indonesia as Fed's Quantitative Easing May End

    Emerging markets, such as Indonesia, have been feeling the impact of a recovering economy in the United States. Last month, the Federal Reserve announced that, if the economy of the USA continues its improving trend, it will end its quantitative easing program gradually in 2013 until a complete stop in 2014. As Indonesia is one of the emerging economies that benefited from the spillover effects of the Fed's monthly bond-buying program, the country now feels the negative impact of the possible stop to the program.

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  • Freeport Indonesia Resumes its Open-Pit Mining Activities

    Freeport Indonesia, subsidiary of American-based Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, is allowed to continue its open-pit mining activities. The company was forced to halt its mining activities temporarily after an underground tunnel collapsed in mid-May, resulting in the deaths of 28 people. After a thorough evaluation by an independent team of investigators, Freeport is allowed to resume operations. The permission was granted by Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

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  • JP Morgan: Why Should You Continue to Purchase Stocks?

    In recent months, positive fundamentals have coloured stock indices green. Despite volatility, these positive fundamentals remain today. Therefore, analysts of JP Morgan emphasize that people should not turn their backs to stock markets now. Risks are obviously always present but the analysts stress that people should not be too concerned about ongoing volatility. In fact, volatility should be used to one's advantage by purchasing when the index is low. Below are five arguments that JP Morgan mentions as reason to keep buying stocks.

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  • Indonesia's Government Debt Still Low by International Standard

    Indonesian central government debt increased IDR 15.8 trillion (USD $1.6 billion) in the first quarter of 2013 to a total current debt of IDR 1,991.22 trillion (USD $205.3 billion). This total debt consists of loans amounting to IDR 590.2 trillion (USD $60.8 billion) and government securities (Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN) totaling 1,401.1 trillion (USD $144.4 billion). The loans are divided in foreign loans (IDR 588.4 trillion) and domestic loans (IDR 1.8 trillion). The country's debt-to-GDP ratio is currently approximately 24 percent.

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  • UBS Revises up its GDP Estimate for Indonesia due to Stronger US Demand

    Global financial services company UBS has revised up Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) number as it expects the country to benefit from increased exports to the United States. The Switzerland-based company predicts that Indonesia's economy will grow by 6.3 percent, instead of the previous estimate of 6.0 percent. Recently improved economic growth in the USA is cited as the engine of growth for Indonesian exports later this year.

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  • Increased Imports and Declined Exports Result in Indonesia's Trade Deficit

    Exports have always been an important asset to Indonesia's economy. Throughout history, Indonesia recorded a continuous series of trade surpluses. In 2012, however, the country recorded its first ever trade deficit as imports rose (partly due to increased demand of the Indonesian people), while exports declined due to global turmoil and uncertainty. A trade deficit is a new phenomenon to Indonesians and has caused some anxiety in the country.

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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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