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Today's Headlines China

  • Indonesian Rupiah Strengthens Sharply Despite Pessimistic Projection

    Indonesian Rupiah Strengthens Sharply Despite Pessimistic Projection

    The Indonesian rupiah is strengthening remarkably against the US dollar on Monday (21/12) despite expectation that the rupiah will become the worst-performing Asian currency in 2016 on capital outflows (amid more US interest rate hikes planned for 2016), Indonesia's falling foreign exchange reserves, and persistent low commodity prices. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index the Indonesian rupiah had appreciated 1.13 percent to IDR 13,760 per US dollar by 14:20 pm local Jakarta time on Monday (21/12).

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  • Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index Plunges, Rupiah Strengthens

    Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan Jatuh, Rupiah Menguat

    Stock indices in Southeast Asia plunged on Friday (18/12), led by benchmark indices in Thailand and Indonesia. These Asian markets followed the global correction that occurred after investors weighed in the possible impact of the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike. US and European stocks dropped on Thursday and Friday, while prices of oil and other commodities continued to slide. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index fell 1.92 percent to 4,468.65 points.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Update: Outflows after Relief Rally

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Update: Outflows after Relief Rally

    After the rally on Thursday (responding positively to the Federal Reserve's announcement to raise its Fed Fund Rate), Indonesian assets are weakening on Friday (18/12) while most other Asian markets are down. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index was down 1.20 percent to 4,501.34 points by 09:45 am local Jakarta time, while the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 14,040 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). As such, Indonesian stocks are following the example of US stocks that plunged overnight.

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  • Bank Indonesia Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Southeast Asia's largest economy, kept its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at the December policy meeting on Thursday (17/12). Meanwhile, the overnight deposit rate facility (Fasbi) was left unchanged at 5.50 percent and the lending facility at 8.00 percent. It was the tenth consecutive month without changing the country's interest rate environment (in February 2015 the central bank cut the BI rate by 0.25 percent).

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken Ahead of Fed Fund Rate Decision

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken Ahead of Fed Fund Rate Decision

    On the last trading day of the week, Indonesian stocks plunged 1.63 percent to 4,393.52 points, while the rupiah depreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 13,984 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). Most Asian indices were weaker as investors are bracing for - most likely - the first Fed Fund Rate hike in nearly a decade. On 15-16 December the US Federal Reserve will hold a crucial policy meeting. Tighter monetary policy in the USA leads to capital outflows from Indonesia as the country is regarded particularly vulnerable to such a move.

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  • Commodities Update: Why Coal Prices Will Remain Low

    Commodities Update: Why Coal Prices Will Remain Low

    The coal price will have serious difficulty to rise as long as crude oil prices remain low and China's economy remains in slowdown-mode. Weak global oil prices (expected to remain below USD $40 per barrel this month) - and the strong US dollar amid looming US monetary tightening - give a bad signal to other commodities, including coal, while the world's largest energy consumer China is struggling to combat its economic slowdown implying limited global coal demand.

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  • Currency Update: Indonesian Rupiah Heading towards 14,000/USD

    Currency Update: Indonesian Rupiah Heading towards 14,000/USD

    The Indonesian rupiah is again flirting with the IDR 13,900 per US dollar level after the central bank announced on Monday (07/12) that Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves fell further in November. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated by 0.19 percent to IDR 13,887 per US dollar at 15:30 pm local Jakarta time on Tuesday (08/12). Other factors that put pressure on the rupiah are the low oil price (giving rise to a strong US dollar), weak trade data from China, and the looming US interest rate hike.

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  • Steel Industry Indonesia Still Plagued by Chinese Competition

    Steel Industry Indonesia Still Plagued by Chinese Competition

    The overall capacity utilization of Indonesia's steel industry could grow to 80 percent from 50 percent currently. However, it will require government support. Hidayat Triseputro, Executive Director of the Indonesian Iron and Steel Industry Association (IISIA), is optimistic this target can be achieved as the government's push for infrastructure development is showing positive signs (in the second half of 2015 there have been more groundbreaking ceremonies for large government-led infrastructure projects across the country).

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  • China's Yuan in IMF's Special Drawing Rights: What is Impact on Indonesia's Rupiah?

    China's Yuan in IMF's Special Drawing Rights: What is Impact on Indonesia's Rupiah?

    China's yuan (also known as renminbi) was included in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) - with a weightage average of 10.91 percent - on Tuesday (01/12), a decision that will take effect on 1 October 2016. Other currencies in the SDR are the US dollar, euro, pound sterling and yen. This move implies that the currency of the world's second-largest economy is increasingly regarded as a global financial instrument and will be increasingly used in transactions across the globe and widely traded on foreign exchange markets.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: China & Fed Hike in Focus

    Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: China & Fed Hike in Focus

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weakened on Monday morning (30/11). Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) was down 0.84 percent to 4,522.09 points, while the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.21 percent to IDR 13,830 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index) by 11:15 am local Jakarta time. Negative sentiments still stem from China and the looming Fed Fund Rate hike in December, while there are few to none domestic sentiments that can support the nation's assets.

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Latest Columns China

  • Domestic & Foreign Investment in Indonesia on the Rise in Q1-2015

    Domestic & Foreign Investment in Indonesia on the Rise in Q1-2015

    Investment realization in Indonesia in the first quarter of 2015 totaled IDR 124.6 trillion (USD $9.7 billion), up 16.9 percent from the same quarter last year. Domestic direct investment climbed 22.8 percent (y/y) to IDR 42.5 trillion, while foreign direct investment (FDI) rose 14 percent (y/y) to IDR 82.1 trillion in Q1-2015. These data, released by the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) on Tuesday (28/04), brought some positivity in Indonesia after listed companies’ weak Q1-2015 financial results led to concern and capital outflow.

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  • Rubber Industry Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities

    Rubber Industry Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities

    In late 2014 Indonesian rubber producers and exporters were not amused when the government of China decided to approve a new standard for compound rubber imports. The permitted crude rubber content in imported compound rubber was cut from 95-99.5 percent to 88 percent, meaning that compound rubber imports into China became subject to a 20 percent import duty (the same tariff as natural rubber import duties). China’s new policy is a blow to its rubber suppliers, which include Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

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  • Analysis Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate continued to depreciate on Monday (02/03). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency depreciated 0.30 percent to IDR 12,970 per US dollar, a six-year low. Apart from general bullish US dollar momentum in recent months (amid monetary tightening in the USA), the rupiah weakened due to Bank Indonesia’s signals that it tolerates a weaker currency in a move to boost exports (limiting the country’s current account deficit), and due to China’s interest rates cut.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Indonesia Update: Why the Currency Gained Today

    Positive macroeconomic data of Indonesia - involving the significantly lower trade deficit in 2014 and easing inflation - had a good impact on the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate on Tuesday (03/02) although prior to closing the currency somewhat slid after Australia's central bank cut its interest rates causing speculation of further policy easing around the Asia Pacific region in a move to support sluggish growth and avert deflation. Most emerging Asian currencies strengthened on Tuesday against the US dollar on stronger risk appetite.

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  • Indonesian Stocks Hit Record High on ECB & Chinese Stimulus

    Indonesian Stocks Hit Record High on ECB & Chinese Stimulus

    Indonesian stocks hit a record high on Thursday (22/01). Most emerging Asian stocks and currencies strengthened on increased speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) is to launch a massive bond-buying program (which was confirmed later on the day after Asian markets had closed), a move aimed at boosting inflation in the Eurozone and which puts pressure on euro-denominated assets. The euro had depreciated 1.67 percent against the US dollar by 11:20 ET on Thursday based on Bloomberg data.

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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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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Rebounds from Six-Year Low

    Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Rebounds from Six-Year Low

    Contrary to the previous trading day, most emerging Asian currencies strengthened against the US dollar on Tuesday (09/12) supported by the yen’s advance as falling oil prices dented risk appetite. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s rupiah appreciated 0.47 percent to IDR 12,331 per US dollar today. Despite local firms’ increased US dollar demand to settle debt before the year-end, market participants were happy to learn that Indonesia’s central bank is active in the foreign exchange market to guard the currency.

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  • Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Bad Start of the Week

    Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Bad Start of the Week

    Despite positive stock indices in the USA and Europe at the end of last week as well as mostly positive indices in Asia today (08/12), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) fell due to investors’ appetite for profit taking. Several matters made investors decide to sell their Indonesia shares, including the World Bank’s downward revision of Indonesia’s economic growth in 2015, Japan’s recession, weakening Chinese exports, and the sharply depreciating rupiah exchange rate.

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  • Rubber Update: Indonesia, Thailand & Malaysia Make New Policies

    Rubber Update: Indonesia, Thailand & Malaysia Make New Policies

    Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s three largest rubber producing countries (accounting for about 70 percent of total global natural rubber output), have agreed to avoid excessive natural rubber supply on the international market by limiting their rubber exports. The countries also agree to curb new rubber plantation development as well as to spur domestic rubber consumption in each country. This statement was read out by Douglas Uggah Embas, Plantation Industries Minister of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur today (20/11).

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  • Global Concern: Economy of China Slows to 7.3% in Q3-2014

    Global Concern: Economy of China Slows to 7.3% in Q3-2014

    Economic expansion of China slowed to a growth pace of 7.3 percent year-on-year (y/y) in the third quarter of 2014, the slowest pace in five years. Although China’s Q3-2014 GDP growth result was better than most analysts’ projections of 7.2 percent, Chinese policy makers will face difficulties to achieve its 7.5 percent annual growth target for full-year 2014. Being one of the most important trading partners of Indonesia, slowing economic growth of China has a major impact on the export performance of Indonesia.

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