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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Impact Hawkish Federal Reserve on Stock Markets Across Asia

    Impact Hawkish Federal Reserve on Stock Markets Across Asia

    As widely expected, the Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged after May's two-day policy meeting that was concluded on Wednesday (03/05). The US central bank also delivered a rather hawkish policy statement, downplaying weak Q1-2017 economic growth and emphasizing the strength of the US labor market. This implies the Fed is still on track for two more rate hikes in the remainder of 2017.

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  • Emerging Market Currencies & Stocks Update: Indonesia's Rupiah

    Emerging Market Currencies & Stocks Update: Indonesia's Rupiah

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah are under pressure on Thursday (24/11). Amid rising expectation of a Fed Funds Rate hike before the year-end, the US dollar rose to a 13 year-high implying all emerging market currencies are sliding. The Indonesian rupiah, one of the more vulnerable emerging market currencies, had depreciated 0.39 percent to IDR 13,542 per US dollar by 10:20 am local Jakarta time. Meanwhile, the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index had fallen 0.85 percent to 5,167.87 points by the same time.

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  • Relief Rally in Asia after Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

    Relief Rally in Asia after Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

    After the US Federal Reserve decided to leave its interest rates unchanged at the September policy meeting on Wednesday (21/09) Asian stocks surged while emerging market currencies appreciated against the US dollar. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index had surged 1 percent by 11:30 am local Jakarta time, while the Indonesian rupiah had appreciated 0.38 percent to IDR 13,087 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). A delay in US monetary tightening makes the higher yielding (but riskier) emerging markets assets an attractive alternative.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market Update: High Volatility Alert

    Indonesia Stock Market Update: High Volatility Alert

    Those who invest in Indonesian stocks and the rupiah may prefer to remain in 'wait and see'-mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve's September two-day policy meeting (20-21 September). In the new trading week markets are again plagued by a very high degree of volatility due to changing perceptions regarding the Fed Funds Rate hike. On Monday (12/09), when Indonesian markets were closed for a public holiday, Asia experienced a major selloff, following Wall Street last Friday when US stocks plunged on fears of a looming (sooner-than-later) Fed rate hike.

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  • Indonesia Stocks & Rupiah Update: Asia Down on Hawkish Fed

    Indonesia Stocks & Rupiah Update: Asia Down on Hawkish Fed

    As expected, emerging markets in Asia, including Indonesia, were negatively affected by the speech of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole last week. Her speech - touching the topics of solid new jobs creation - provided ammunition for analysts and investors to raise speculation about a near-term US Fed Funds Rate hike. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell 1.25 percent to 5,370.76 points, while the Indonesian rupiah depreciated 0.42 percent to IDR 13,267 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index).

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  • Federal Reserve's Janet Yellen: Case for US Rate Hike Strengthens

    Federal Reserve's Janet Yellen: Case for US Rate Hike Strengthens

    After the speech of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole (Wyoming) on Friday (26/08), speculation about a looming Fed Funds Rate hike has risen. In her speech Yellen said the case for higher US interest rates has strengthened in recent months due to the nation's economic growth and stronger jobs market. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said a US interest rate hike could come as early as September 2016.

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  • Bank Indonesia Cuts Key Interest Rate (BI Rate) to 6.50% in June

    Bank Indonesia Cuts Key Interest Rate (BI Rate) to 6.50% in June

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) cut its key interest rate (BI rate) by 0.25 percentage point to 6.50 percent at Thursday's policy meeting (16/06). Although the central bank had stated at its preceding policy meeting that there remained room for monetary easing, today's move was a surprise that few analysts saw coming. The 7-day reverse repurchase rate, which is set to become the central bank's new benchmark rate on 19 August, was also cut by 25 basis points (to 5.25 percent) at today's policy meeting.

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  • Indonesian Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Rallying on Dovish Yellen

    Indonesian Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Rallying on Dovish Yellen

    In line with other markets in Asia, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah continued to rally on Tuesday (07/06) supported by the cautious words of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in a speech on Monday. Meanwhile, higher commodity prices boost the outlook for those commodity-exporting economies (including Indonesia). Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.78 percent to 4,933.99 points, while the Indonesian rupiah appreciated 0.80 percent to IDR 13,263 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index).

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  • Volatile Day at the Office for the Indonesian Rupiah

    Volatile Day at the Office for the Indonesian Rupiah

    The Indonesian rupiah experienced a volatile day on Thursday (02/06), touching a four-month low in the morning after Indonesia failed to get investment grade status (yet) from global credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P). However, at the end of the trading day the rupiah had appreciated 0.13 percent to IDR 13,643 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). Most emerging Asian currencies appreciated against the US dollar today amid uncertainty about an imminent Fed Funds Rate hike.

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  • Impact Federal Reserve Interest Rate Hike on Indonesia's Markets

    Impact Federal Reserve Interest Rate Hike on Indonesia's Markets

    For sure Indonesia's financial system will be affected by the Federal Reserve's decision to implement another interest rate hike, and especially emerging market currencies - including the rupiah - are vulnerable to further monetary tightening in the world's top economy. Most analysts now believe a Fed Funds Rate (FFR) hike could occur in July 2016. In previous rounds of US monetary tightening (QE tapering and the December 2015 FFR hike) we witnessed large capital outflows from Indonesia. What will be the impact of another US interest rate hike on Indonesia?

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • Interest Rate Environment: Why Bank Indonesia Left it Unchanged?

    Interest Rate Environment: Why Bank Indonesia Left it Unchanged?

    Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to hold the country’s key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent, and the lending facility rate at 8.00 percent at the Board of Governor’s Meeting conducted on Tuesday 17 March 2015. Bank Indonesia said that its decision is in line with its ongoing efforts to push inflation back to the target range of 4±1 percent for both 2015 and 2016, and to guide the country’s current account deficit towards a healthier level at 2.5-3 percent of GDP in the medium term.

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  • Bank Indonesia Lowers Key Interest Rate in Surprise Move

    In a surprise move, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to lower its key interest rate (BI rate) by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent at the Board of Governor’s Meeting on Tuesday (17/02). The deposit facility rate (Fasbi) was also lowered by 25 basis points (to 5.50 percent), while the lending facility rate remained steady at 8.00 percent. In a press release the central bank stated that the current policy direction is estimated to moderate the country’s wide current account deficit further, while inflation remains under control.

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Amid weakening emerging Asian currencies, Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate touched a six-year low on Friday (12/12) after US consumer spending rose in November while US jobless claims fell (signalling a strong recovery in the world’s largest economy). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah depreciated 0.95 percent to IDR 12,467 per US dollar on Friday. Besides the impact of the US dollar’s bullish momentum, the rupiah also weakened on year-end US dollar demand from local companies for debt payments.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 12,164 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/11) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The performance is caused by local companies’ month-end US dollar demand as well as US dollar buying by Indonesia’s central bank. Although unconfirmed, it is speculated that the central bank is boosting its foreign exchange reserves ahead of a looming external shock triggered by higher US interest rates in the second or third quarter of 2015.

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  • Financial Update: Foreign Debt of Indonesia Continues to Rise

    Total foreign outstanding debt of Indonesia continues to grow at a robust pace. Based on data from the country’s central bank, total external debt rose 11.2 percent year-on-year to USD $292 billion at the end of September 2014 as private Indonesian companies have been eager to seek lower interest rates abroad. Privately-held foreign debt was up 14 percent y/y to USD $159.3 billion at end-September. Central Bank official Tirta Segara said that private sector debt is concentrated in the financial, manufacturing and mining sectors.

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  • Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    The current account deficit of Indonesia eased to USD $6.84 billion, or 3.07 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2014 (down from USD $8.69 billion, or 4.07 percent of GDP in the previous quarter). This improvement was mainly supported by a solid surplus in the country’s non-oil & gas sector, partly the result of the US economic recovery as well as resumed copper concentrate exports by Freeport Indonesia and Newmont Nusa Tenggara (after successful mining contract renegotiations).

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Today: Performance of the Jakarta Composite Index

    Stocks & Rupiah Today: Performance of the Jakarta Composite Index

    Although we initially expected that the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) would be supported by the various macroeconomic data (inflation, trade balance, and manufacturing activity) that were released by Statistics Indonesia today, the opposite is what happened. The index went into red territory amid profit taking, although the bond market in fact strengthened and foreign investors recorded net buying at IDR 224 billion (USD $18.7 million).

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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  • Market’s Lukewarm Reception of Joko Widodo’s ‘Kabinet Kerja Indonesia’

    The market showed today (27/10) that the composition of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s cabinet did not live up to expectations. On Sunday afternoon, Widodo had announced the names of the ministers inside his Working Cabinet (Kabinet Kerja) after having delayed the announcement for almost a week as several of his ministerial candidates needed to be replaced having been red flagged by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). This then heightened expectations that Widodo’s cabinet would constitute a ‘dream team’.

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  • Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service stated that it maintains a stable outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign and corporate debt rating in the next quarters due to the country’s healthy credit fundamentals, solid macroeconomy, and reduced political tensions. Moody’s believes that Indonesia’s fundamentals are strong enough to offset the negative impact of external pressures such as looming higher US interest rates and slowing economic growth in China. Moody’s had raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to investment grade in late 2011.

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