Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines USA

  • World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    Despite slowing economic growth in China (the world’s second-largest economy), the World Bank forecasts higher economic growth for emerging markets in 2015 driven by a decline in global oil prices, a stronger US economy, and continued low global interest rates. The World Bank expects to see a 4.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) GDP growth rate in emerging markets this year, up from an estimated 4.4 percent (y/y) in 2014. Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow 3 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) Report: Growth Forecasts Asia Revised

    In its latest report entitled ‘Growth Hesitates in Developing Asia’ (which is a supplement to the ‘Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update’), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) slightly downgraded economic growth in developing Asia to 6.1 percent (y/y) in 2014 from its September estimate of 6.2 percent (y/y). Despite slowing momentum the ADB believes that current low oil prices constitute a great opportunity for Asian countries to conduct structural reforms as many of these countries are net oil importers.

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  • Crude Palm Oil (CPO) Exports from Indonesia Sluggish on Weak Demand

    Exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and CPO derived products from Indonesia in the first nine months of 2014 only reached 15 million tons, down 1.75 percent from the same period last year. The main cause for this disappointing performance is slowing economic growth in China and India resulting in reduced palm oil demand from these two giant economies. As a result of weak global demand, the CPO price has fallen to an average price of USD $712 per ton in September 2014, down 5.4 percent from the previous month.

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  • Indonesia Files Complaint to WTO over Australia’s Plain Packaging Act

    Indonesia and four other countries have filed an official complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over a recent new law in Australia. This law (‘2011 Tobacco Plain Packaging Act’), in effect since 1 December 2012, requires the removal of all branding (such as colours, imagery, and corporate logos) on cigarette packages. Indonesia’s Trade Ministry believes that the law violates several WTO rules, such as an agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and an agreement on the technical barriers to trade.

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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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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down Ahead of FOMC Meeting

    Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 1.26 percent to IDR 11,971 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Monday (15/09). Indonesia’s currency depreciated sharply ahead of the FOMC’s two-day meeting as investors are awaiting for the results on Thursday. As August US retail sales rose at the fastest pace in four months, a winding down of the US bond-buying program and looming US interest rates have resulted in a strong US dollar.

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  • El Niño Looms: Palm Oil Exports from Indonesia Expected to Decline in 2014

    The Agriculture Ministry of Indonesia expects that domestic production of palm oil in 2014 will decline 10 percent (roughly two million tons) from last year due to the possible impact of the El Niño weather cycle in the second half of this year. El Niño is a weather phenomenon that occurs once every 5 years on average and involves periodical warm ocean water temperatures off the western coast of South America. This can cause climatic changes across the Pacific Ocean, impacting on the global commodities market.

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  • 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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Latest Columns USA

  • Asian Stock Indices Mixed but Indonesia's IHSG Continues to Rise

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 18 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) went up 0.89 percent to 4,720.44 on Thursday (18/07). The index was supported by developments in the United States. On Wednesday (17/07), Ben Bernanke spoke to the US Congress and said that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its bond-buying program in 2013 and may gradually withdraw the quantitative easing program in 2014. But only if economic recovery of the US provides the good context. This message supported the IHSG although foreign investors continued to record a net sale.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index Continues Upward Trend due to Retail Sales

    Retail sales in May 2013 rose 1.5 percent (month to month) or 8.6 percent (year on year) in Indonesia according to a publication of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) released on Tuesday evening (16/07). The report made a positive impact on today's trading day as stocks in Indonesia's consumer goods sector rose 2.5 percent. Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) gained 0.75 percent to end at the level of 4,679.00 points. Foreigner investors are still mostly avoiding the Indonesian stock market, but did record a net purchase today.

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  • Indonesia's Ceramics Revenues Grow 27% in Semester I - 2013

    Indonesia's ceramic industry recorded sales amounting to IDR 14 trillion (USD $1.4 billion) in the first six months of 2013. This implies a 27 percent increase compared to ceramic sales in the same period in 2012. The increase is particularly caused by higher sales prices in January and March 2013 which were introduced to mitigate higher gas and electricity tariffs as well as higher minimum wages. Generally, ceramic prices rose 10 to 15 percent. Ceramics sales volume in semester I-2013 increased to 190 million m² from 180 m² in 2012.

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  • Amid Weak Asian Indices, Indonesia's Main Stock Index Falls 3.68%

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) fell 3.68 percent to 4,433.63 on Monday's trading day (08/07). This current level is the lowest level of the IHSG since 26 June 2013. Of the 473 listed companies, 263 were down, 21 were up and the remainder did not move. Most Asian indices fell due to concerns about China's credit crisis that may impact on the country's economic growth and that the positive US employment report will affect continuation of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.6 percent.

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index Rises 0.46% but Market is Waiting for US Data

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) went up 0.46 percent to 4,602.81 on Friday (05/07). The index followed the general trend in Asia, where most stock indices rose. Of all 473 listed companies on the Indonesia stock exchange (IDX), 102 rose, 140 weakened, and 113 did not move. Foreign investors are still withdrawing their money from the IHSG. Today, foreigners recorded a net sale of IDR 260.7 billion (USD $26 million). Basic industry and consumption were the sectors that provided most support for the IHSG.

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index (IHSG) Slightly Up after Release US Data

    Higher American indices after the release of ADP employment change and lower initial jobless claims made an indirect impact on Asian stock indices, including Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) on Thursday (04/07). Investors used the positive outcomes of these data to start purchasing stocks, although in limited quantities. Foreign investors, however, are still selling more Indonesian shares than they buy, which subsequently results in limited growth of the IHSG on Thursday (04/07). The index grew 0.10 percent to 4,581.93.

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  • Indonesian, American and European Stock Indices on Wednesday (03/07)

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 3 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) took another large blow on Wednesday (03/07). The index fell 3.20 percent to 4,577.15 points as investors were worried after reading the revised outlook of the World Bank. The institution downgraded its forecast for economic growth in Indonesia in 2013 from 6.2 percent to 5.9 percent. Higher inflation, because of the recent subsidized fuel price hike, is expected to result in lower domestic consumption. The IDR rupiah posted a slight weakening to IDR 9,941.

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  • World Bank Downgrades Growth; Indonesia Stock Exchange Falls 3.20%

    Weakening American and European stock indices on Tuesday (02/07), as investors mostly refrained from trading ahead of Wednesday when a number of important US economic data are released, caused negative market sentiments in Asia today (03/07). Moreover, the market responded negative towards the World Bank's July report in which the outlook for economic growth of Indonesia in 2013 was cut to 5.9 percent (from 6.2 percent). Lastly, a gap at 4,620 - 4,644 still needed to be closed.

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  • Positive Impact Wall Street on Indonesia's Stock Index (IHSG)

    For the third day in a row, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) made a strong upward jump on Friday (28/06). Supported by strong American and European stock indices on the previous trading day, the IHSG rose 3.06 percent to 4,818.90 points. American and European indices mostly rose on Thursday (27/06) due to various positive macroeconomic data from the USA. These economic data translated into the good performance of the IHSG and other Asian stock indices on Friday. All sectoral indices of the IHSG were reported to have grown.

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  • Indonesia Stock Exchange Influenced by US Economic Data and Fed Stance

    Stock indices in the United States were up for the third day in a row on Thursday (27/06). Main reason for this upward trend are various positive macroeconomic figures from the USA. The number of homes under contract to be sold (excluding new construction) grew 6.7 percent in May, while analysts had forecast growth of about 1 percent from the previous month. Personal spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the domestic economy, grew 0.3 percent in May, while personal income rose 0.5 percent.

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