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

  • Studying Abroad More Expensive for Indonesians as Rupiah Weakens

    Studying Abroad More Expensive for Indonesians as Rupiah Weakens

    Indonesia's heavily depreciated rupiah makes it more difficult for Indonesians to study abroad or to send their children to universities abroad without having the financial aid in the form of a scholarship. For those that are thinking of making such a decision, they need to take into account the performance of the Indonesian rupiah as well as the inflation outlook in the country of destination. So far in 2015, the Indonesian rupiah has depreciated 18 percent against the US dollar, 9 percent against the euro, 14 percent against China's yuan, and 2.4 percent against the Australian dollar.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia: Inflation and US GDP Cause Mixed Performance

    Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia: Inflation and US GDP Cause Mixed Performance

    On the first trading day of the new week, both Indonesian stocks and the rupiah moved more-or-less sideways. Generally, indices in Southeast Asia were mixed as positive external sentiments were offset by local negative sentiments. In the case of Indonesia, negative local sentiments stemmed from the higher-than-estimated inflation figure in May and continued contraction of the manufacturing industry. Positive market sentiments stemmed from the USA where GDP growth was revised to minus 0.7 percent in Q1-2015.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index: What is Next for Indonesian Stocks?

    Jakarta Composite Index: What is Next for Indonesian Stocks?

    Stock markets in Indonesia have been particularly volatile in recent weeks, and this has left many investors wondering about whether or not the rally that started last October is still viable and ready to continue. Last month, the MSCI Indonesia Index (which trades under the stock symbol EIDO) took a large drop - from well above the 6,500 mark to below 6,000. From a percentage perspective, a move like this can generate significant losses for those that bought into Indonesian stocks while they were still at elevated levels.

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  • IMF Downgrades Global Economic Growth, China at 24-Year Low

    There was few good news from a global economic perspective as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sharply cut its outlook for global economic growth in the next two years. According to the IMF, global economic growth will only reach 3.5 percent (y/y) in 2015 and 3.7 percent in 2016 due to poorer prospects in China, Russia, the Eurozone, and Japan. Economic growth of China (the world’s second-largest economy) fell to a 24-year low at 7.4 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2014, below the government target of 7.5 percent (y/y).

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  • US Investments in Indonesia: American Companies Eager to Invest

    A total of 35 American companies are interested to invest a combined USD $61 billion in Indonesia over the next five years according to a survey conducted by the Paramadina Public Policy Institute, the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (AmCham Indonesia), the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia). These 35 US companies have already invested a total of USD $65 billion in Indonesia over the period 2004 to 2012.

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  • IMF & World Bank about Global Economic Growth and Indonesia

    IMF & World Bank about Global Economic Growth and Indonesia

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slightly cut its outlook for global economic expansion for both 2014 and 2015. The institution decided to lower its forecast due to weaker growth in Japan, Latin America and Europe. According the IMF’s latest estimate, the global economy will grow 3.3 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2014, down from its previous estimate of 3.4 percent y/y, and 3.8 percent y/y in 2015 (down from 4.0 percent y/y in its July estimate). This is the third time this year that the IMF has had to cut its global economic growth forecast.

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  • Stock Market Update Indonesia: Down on Politics and Global Data

    Indonesian stocks plunged considerably on Thursday (02/10). The country’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined 2.73 percent to 5,000.81 points, the largest drop in almost six months. This poor performance was caused by both external and internal factors. Externally, various weak economic data from the USA and Europe as well as an appreciating yen impacted negatively on Asian stock indices. Internally, market participants responded negatively toward the inauguration of the new parliament.

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  • Indonesian Stocks Down on Profit Taking; Rupiah Up on Court Decision

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) fell 0.14 percent to 5,198.90 points on the last trading day of the week, the first day of decline in five trading days, as investors engaged in profit taking after Indonesia’s Constitutional Court confirmed the official election result of the General Elections Commission (KPU) that announced Joko Widodo as winner of the July 2014 presidential election. Next week investors may continue profit taking as the index is still overbought.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Exchange Rate Surge on Jokowi Rebound

    Although Asian stock indices tended to decline on Monday’s trading day (07/07) due to profit taking amid expectation that corporate earnings in the first half of 2014 are disappointing, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) performed remarkably well as foreign investors recorded net buying and the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated sharply. The main reason why markets were positive in Indonesia on Monday was the strong performance of Joko Widodo in Saturday’s presidential debate.

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  • Rupiah Down but Indonesian Stocks Overcome Weak Economic Data

    Rupiah Down but Indonesian Stocks Overcome Weak Economic Data

    Although initially the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as Jakarta Composite index or IHSG) fell after the market responded to today's release of Indonesia's April trade deficit and May inflation, the index ended in the green zone due to foreign net buying and general positive Asian indices (influenced by higher stock indices on Wall Street at the end of last week). Particularly Indonesia's big cap stocks in the miscellaneous industry and consumer sectors were popular as these were relatively cheap after having tumbled at the end of last week.

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