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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

  • 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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