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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

  • Indonesia's Benchmark Index (IHSG) Rises 1.88% on Tuesday

    Yesterday's rising indices on Wall Street, high expectations of companies' financial reports and positive statements regarding economic growth in China resulted in a good day at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). Indonesia's main stock index, the IHSG, rose 1.88 percent to 4,767.16 on Tuesday (23/07), even though technical indicators seemed to predict a weakening of the index. Also the continued fall of the Indonesian rupiah did not turn investors away from the market. In fact, foreign investors were net buyers of Indonesian stocks.

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index Ends Week in the Plus, while Asia Weakens

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) ended the last trading day of this week in the plus. The index rose 0.08 percent to 4,724.41. The growth was limited because most Asian stocks fell as investors are looking for profit after a positive trading week. Global stock indices had a relatively good week after Ben Bernanke stated that the quantitative easing program (the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying package), will continue as long as the US economy needs it, which gives rise to a low interest rate environment.

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  • 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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