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Today's Headlines Japan

  • Most Asian Stocks Start Lower on China's Weak Manufacturing PMI

    Most Asian Stocks Start Lower on China's Weak Manufacturing PMI

    Most Asian stock indices opened lower on the first trading day of the week on persistent concern about China's economy. Chinese authorities announced that the country's official October manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) was 49.8 (a reading below 50.0 indicates contraction), unchanged from the preceding month and below analysts' consensus of 50.1. Concern about sluggish manufacturing in China caused falling stock indices. Japanese shares were affected the most.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken as Fed Opens Door to December Rate Hike

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken as Fed Opens Door to December Rate Hike

    Indonesian assets are leading declines in Asia's equity and currency markets on today's trading day after a 'hawkish' statement released by the Federal Reserve indicated that the US will not raise its Fed Fund Rate yet, but does seem to open a door to a December interest rate hike. Despite the good performance of US stocks on Wednesday (28/10), most Asian markets were down today. Moreover, solid factory output in Japan reduced chances of further stimulus measures in Japan (Japan's central bank is to meet this Friday).

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  • Indonesian Stocks Down Ahead of Fed Meeting; Rupiah Strengthens

    Indonesian Stocks Down Ahead of Fed Meeting; Rupiah Strengthens

    Most Asian stock indices were in red territory on Tuesday (27/10) ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting (scheduled to start today) and following the sluggish performance of US and European stocks on Monday. Investors seem to engage in profit-taking after global equity markets hit a two-month high on China's interest rates cut, the European Central Bank (ECB)'s plan to add stimulus to boost inflation, and expectation of more stimulus from Japan's central bank as well as a delay in higher US interest rates.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: China Concerns Persist

    Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: China Concerns Persist

    With the exception of Japan, the majority of stock markets in Asia were under pressure on Wednesday (21/10) on concern about China's economic growth as Japan's exports to China fell 3.5 percent year-on-year in September. Today, it was announced that Japan posted a USD $95 billion trade deficit in September, worse than previously estimated, primarily on weakening exports due to slowing economic growth in China. However, Japanese stocks rose on stimulus hopes.

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  • Indonesia Stock & Rupiah Update: Will the Federal Reserve Raise Interest Rates?

    Indonesia Stock & Rupiah Update: Will the Federal Reserve Raise Interest Rates?

    While most Asian stock indices were mixed, Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.69 percent to 4,390.37 points on Monday (14/09) with foreign investors recording a net buy of IDR 91.2 billion (approx. USD $6.5 million). Meanwhile, ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve meeting, the Indonesian rupiah depreciated 0.08 percent to IDR 14,333 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • Indonesia Cancels Jakarta-Bandung’s High-Speed Train Project

    Indonesia Cancels Jakarta-Bandung’s High-Speed Train Project

    Indonesia has cancelled further development of the multi-billion high-speed railway between the capital city of Jakarta and Bandung (West Java) as President Joko Widodo decided that Indonesia does not need a train that can reach speeds of over 300 km per hour on the relatively short route (150 km) between both cities. Besides the short distance, there will also be around 14 stations constructed between both terminal stations, implying that the train needs to hit the brakes before it can reach its maximum speed.

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  • Indonesia’s First High-Speed Railway Project: Battle between China and Japan

    Indonesia’s First High-Speed Railway Project: Battle between China and Japan

    According to the latest rumours, the government of Indonesia tends to favour China to build the nation's first high-speed railway that will connect the capital city of Jakarta and Bandung in West Java. Over the past weeks, the ‘battle’ between China and Japan over who will be awarded the contract to construct the high-speed and high-profile railway between both cities (worth approx. USD $5 billion) heightened.

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  • Moody’s Assigns (P)Baa3 Rating to Indonesia’s Samurai Bonds

    Moody’s Assigns (P)Baa3 Rating to Indonesia’s Samurai Bonds

    The Samurai (yen-denominated) bonds that are to be issued by the Indonesian government (through private placement) received a provisional rating of (P)Baa3 (stable outlook) from Moody’s Investors Service. Part of the Samurai bonds to be used by the government are without guarantees from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). It will be the first time for Indonesia to issue unguaranteed Samurai bonds since 1983 and thus the issuance serves as a test to measure Japanese investors’ confidence in Indonesian assets.

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  • Indonesia to Sell Unguaranteed Samurai Bonds to Japanese Investors Soon

    Indonesia to Sell Unguaranteed Samurai Bonds to Japanese Investors Soon

    The Finance Ministry of Indonesia started to market multi-tranche Samurai (yen-denominated) bonds, partially without guarantees from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), a Japanese public financial institution. It will be the first time that Indonesia issues unguaranteed Samurai bonds and thus the result will inform how confident Japanese investors are in Indonesia’s debt markets. Previously, all Samurai bonds issued by the Indonesian government were guaranteed by JBIC.

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  • Growth Indonesia’s Food & Beverage Industry in 2015 Revised Down

    Growth Indonesia’s Food & Beverage Industry in 2015 Revised Down

    Turnover in Indonesia’s processed food and beverage industry is expected to grow 4 to 5 percent year-on-year (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015 from the same period last year. Adhi Lukman, General Chairman of the Indonesian Food and Beverage Association (GAPMMI), said that factors have been hampering this industry are the winding down of fuel subsidies, the country’s sluggish export sector, the industry’s dependence on imports of raw materials, people’s weakening purchasing power amid low commodity prices, and a weak rupiah.

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Latest Columns Japan

  • Ahead of Trade Mission to Indonesia, Dutch War Graves Vanish in Java Sea

    Ahead of Trade Mission to Indonesia, Dutch War Graves Vanish in Java Sea

    Several days before a big Dutch trade mission visits Indonesia to enhance bilateral trade relations between both nations, there surfaced reports of three missing Dutch warships. These warships had been sunk by Japanese forces during the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942 and had been lying on the bottom of the Java Sea off the coast of Java ever since (or, more precise, were believed to be lying there). After divers discovered the wrecks in 2002, the site was declared a war grave. The Dutch government is demanding a full investigation into this violation of a war grave.

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  • Infrastructure Indonesia: Jakarta-Surabaya Railway & Patimban Seaport

    Infrastructure Indonesia: Jakarta-Surabaya Railway & Patimban Seaport

    After Japan was disappointed by not being awarded the contract to build a high-speed railway between Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta and Bandung (West Java), the Indonesian government now plans to offer the revitalization of the northern Java railway to Japan. Another project that is expected to be offered to Japan is the Patimban seaport project in Subang (West Java). Indonesian President Joko Widodo is currently in Japan for a two-day visit to attend the Group of Seven summit on invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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  • Panasonic & Toshiba Restructuring its Business in Indonesia

    Panasonic & Toshiba Restructuring its Business in Indonesia

    Intense competition in the electronics industry forced the management of Panasonic and Toshiba to restructure their businesses in Indonesia. Panasonic closed one factory (located in Cikarang, West Java) and merged two local units. Meanwhile, Toshiba sold its television and twin-tub washing machine manufacturing plant - also located in Cikarang - to China's Skyworth Group, one of the largest television sets producers in China (with the Coocaa brand) and listed on the stock exchange in Hong Kong.

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  • 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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  • Indonesia Accepts China's Proposal for High-Speed Railway Jakarta-Bandung

    Indonesia Accepts China's Proposal for High-Speed Railway Jakarta-Bandung

    China has won a contract to build a high-speed railway between Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta and Bandung (West Java), beating Japan along the way. Earlier this month, the Indonesian government unexpectedly decided to decline proposals from Japan and China for the construction of a multi-billion high-speed railway between both cities as these proposals included financial assistance or a guarantee from the Indonesian government. Moreover, Indonesia considered a super-fast train unnecessary on the relatively short route (150 km).

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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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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate: Depreciating against the US Dollar

    In line with most other Asian emerging currencies, Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate depreciated on Friday (28/11). Market players continue to buy US dollars amid falling oil prices. Japan’s yen even fell to a seven-year low against the US dollar after government data showed that household spending declined four percent (y/y) and inflation slowed in the world’s third-largest economy. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 12,204 per US dollar by 15:35 pm local Jakarta time.

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  • Currency Update: Japanese Yen Depreciates to Lowest Level in 7 Years

    After the currency of Japan (yen) had weakened to its lowest level in seven years against the US dollar on Tuesday (11/11), the currency rebounded today (12/11) as speculation spread that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not considering to dissolve parliament and to postpone a planned sales-tax increase. Japan’s currency had gained 0.4 percent to 115.31 per US dollar at 9:02 am London time according to Bloomberg data (yesterday it had touched a seven-year low at 116.10 per US dollar).

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