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Today's Headlines USA

  • 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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  • Rally of Rupiah and Jakarta Composite Index Paused by Profit Taking

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.14 percent to IDR 11,665 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/02) based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The currency's depreciation was due to US dollar demand from Indonesian importers while offshore funds engaged in profit taking as the rupiah is the best performer in February 2014 among 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg (against both the euro and US dollar). The rupiah is also the best-performing Asian currency this year so far.

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  • Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

    Conclusion G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sydney

    On Sunday (23/02), the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting was concluded. In a statement, the finance ministers and central bank governors committed to implement policies to grow collective GDP by over 2 percent above the current trajectory over the next five years. Realistically, these policies could mean an extra USD $2 trillion in global economic activity and tens of millions of additional jobs. Each country will deliver a comprehensive growth strategy as part of the Brisbane Leaders Summit in November.

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  • Unexpected December 2013 Surplus Helps to Ease Indonesia's Trade Deficit

    Market participants were pleased to see the trade balance of Indonesia posting an unexpected USD $1.52 billion surplus in December 2013, almost twice as high than previous forecasts. This December surplus is the highest monthly surplus since December 2011. Exports rose 6.56 percent from November 2013 and 10.33 percent from December 2012, while imports rose 2.04 percent from November 2013 but declined 0.79 percent from December 2012. Although showing an easing trend, Indonesia posted a trade deficit of USD $4.06 billion in full 2013.

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  • IMF Raises Its Forecast for US and Global Economic Growth in 2014

    On Tuesday (21/01), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent a positive message to the world as it slightly raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2014. The main reason for this upward revision is the improving economy of the USA. According to the IMF, the US economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2014 (0.2 percentage points higher than the IMF's previous outlook released in October 2013). Due to stronger US growth, the global economy is now expected to expand by 3.7 percent (0.1 percent up from its previous forecast).

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  • Amid Improving Global Economy, Indonesia Optimistic about GDP Growth

    Forecasts for economic growth in Indonesia in 2014 are still optimistic. The government of Indonesia targets a 6 percent growth rate, while the country's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects GDP growth in the range of 5.8 to 6.2 percent. Although these forecasts clearly fall short of the target set in the country's National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) - which mentions annual GDP growth of between 6.3 and 6.8 percent - the forecasts are still rather positive given the global uncertain and volatile economic context in recent years.

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  • International Monetary Fund: Commodity Market Monthly January

    Last Friday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its January 2014 Commodity Market Monthly. This report provides an update on global commodity prices. According to the report, global commodity prices rose 2.4 percent in December 2013, with increases in most main indices. During 2013, commodity prices increased 0.8 percent, with gains concentrated in the energy sector, up 3 percent from December 2012. Metals prices declined 7 percent due to continued increases in new capacity.

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  • Indonesia's Strategy to Avert the Impact of Federal Reserve Tapering

    Indonesia's Strategy to Avert the Impact of Federal Reserve Tapering

    Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi said that the Indonesian government is preparing two strategic steps to anticipate the negative impact of the winding down of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. In January 2014, the Fed's bond-buying program will be reduced from USD $85 billion to USD $75 billion per month. The two strategic steps, which will enhance financial stability in Southeast Asia's largest economy, involve the curtailing of Indonesia's current account deficit and high inflation.

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Latest Columns USA

  • 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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  • Indonesia's IHSG Stock Index Falls Slightly on Wednesday amid Profit Taking

    Without any real negative global reasons, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) was down 0.20 percent to 4,349.42 points. Apparently, market participants were looking for profit taking after the index rose sharply in the last couple of days. There may also have been the psychological influence of the gaps at 4,191-4,225 and 4,072-4,102 that still need to be closed. Will the IHSG close these? Compared to the general upward trend of Asian indices, it seems strange if the IHSG would deviate from this trend only to close the gaps.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market: Overview and Analysis of Last Week's Performance

    Although many global indices were up, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell a total of 2.93 percent during last week's trading. One important issue on global indices is the tapering off of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE3). On 17 and 18 September, the next meeting of the FOMC is scheduled, which is expected to discuss the future of QE3. Notably, as the meeting comes closer, most global indices in fact rise. Thus, market players seem to have become less concerned about an end to QE3.

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  • Indonesia's IHSG Index Finishes Week with a 0.53% Rise

    Contrary to Thursday's trading day (05/09) when the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (IHSG) opened strong but ended in the red, on Friday (06/09) it was the other way round. The IHSG started negative but ended the day 0.53 percent up to 4,072.35 points. Factors that made a negative impact on the IHSG were the continueing fall of the rupiah as well as speculation that Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves would decline again at end-August. However, a number of rising Asian indices influenced the IHSG in a positive way.

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  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Fails to Join Rising Asian Indices

    Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Fails to Join Rising Asian Indices

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) started rather well on Thursday's trading day (05/09) despite the fact that most analysts expected a weakening index. Positive market sentiments were triggered by rising Asian stock indices (brought on by yesterday's rising indices on Wall Street). However, as the rupiah continued its downward spiral, market players began to exit the market, thus resulting in the 0.55 percent fall of the IHSG to 4,050.86. Foreign investors were net sellers of Indonesian assets, while domestic players recorded a net purchase.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index Rebounds on Tuesday; Rupiah Depreciates

    Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) rebounded on Tuesday (03/09) amid rising Asian stock indices inflicted by optimism about economic recovery in China and the USA. The IHSG rose 1.53 percent to 4,164.12 points. Agribusiness and mining stocks were the top performers today, while the miscellaneous industry, which fell 0.09 percent, was the only sectoral index on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) that was down. The rupiah depreciated against the US dollar as investors are concerned about July's USD $2.3 billion current account deficit.

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  • Market Update: Eurozone Posts Good Data, USA Waiting for Decisions

    Most European stock indices rose sharply on Monday (02/09) as investors were happy to see favorable industrial data from China and the Eurozone. The benchmark stock indices in Paris, Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam climbed up to 1.8 percent. Trade was relatively quiet as Wall Street was closed due to Labor Day celebrations. However, it may be a 'calm before the storm' because on Friday (06/09) new official data about U.S. job creation will be released, while next week more clarity about a military operation in Syria is expected.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index Rebounds amid Rising Asian Indices

    Jakarta Composite Index Rebounds amid Rising Asian Indices

    Rising Asian stock indices from the start of the week have supported Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) to follow suit on Tuesday (13/08). Despite mixed markets in the United States and Europe, the IHSG grew 1.19 percent to 4,652.40 points. Japan's Nikkei index, which weakened seriously after the country's disappointing Q2 GDP result, rebounded and had a positive impact on the IHSG. Lastly, positive European openings made sure the IHSG would stay in the green zone.

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  • Possible End to Quantitative Easing Will Impact on Emerging Economies

    Possible End to Quantitative Easing Will Impact on Emerging Economies

    Worldwide, most stock indices fell on Wednesday (07/08), particularly Japan's Nikkei index, after it has been speculated that the Federal Reserve may phase out the third round of its quantitative easing program in September 2013. This program, involving a monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying package, aims to spur US economic growth while keeping interest rates low. However, one important side effect has been rising stock markets around the globe. Now the end of QE3 is in sight, investors shy away from riskier assets.

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