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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

  • Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri said that the lower pace of economic growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, is a major concern for Indonesia as it leads to declining demand for commodities (and thus places downward pressure on commodity prices). As Indonesia is a major commodity exporter - such as coal, crude palm oil, nickel ore and tin - the country feels the impact of weak global demand for commodities. About 60 percent of Indonesia’s exports are commodities, mostly raw ones.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia decided to hold the key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent in October, with the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility rates kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. This level is expected to help control inflation at 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4.0±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level. Despite stable domestic conditions, Bank Indonesia sees risks: contagion risk stemming from US monetary tightening and possible higher subsidized fuel prices.

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  • Indonesian Stocks Rebound but Rupiah Continues to Depreciate

    Technically the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, or IHSG) had to rebound after sharp declines during the last couple of trading days making Indonesian stocks relatively cheap. The IHSG was also supported by rising stock indices in Japan and Hong Kong that rose on strong US jobs data (although other Asian markets fell due to concerns about sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, the rupiah continued to depreciate as the market is concerned about the political situation in Indonesia.

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  • Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Amid political uncertainty and a looming increase in US interest rates, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably in the past week. Market participants are increasingly concerned about the situation in Indonesia’s parliament where a majority of political parties - named the Merah-Putih coalition (led by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto) - is expected to undermine president-elect Joko Widodo’s reform programs as well as the democratic foundations of the country.

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  • Indonesia’s House Approves 2015 State Budget; Budget Deficit 2.21% of GDP

    Indonesia’s House Approves 2015 State Budget; Budget Deficit 2.21% of GDP

    Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) approved the 2015 State Budget on Monday (29/09) that was proposed by the outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration. The budget deficit is now set at IDR 245.9 trillion (USD $20.5 billion), equivalent to 2.21 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and lower than the 2.32 percent of GDP proposed by the government in both the Financial Memorandum and the Revised 2015 State Budget. However, the accepted budget deficit is still high compared to previous years.

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  • Federal Reserve & Indonesia: Limiting the Impact of Higher Interest Rates

    Federal Reserve & Indonesia: Limiting the Impact of Higher Interest Rates

    US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen reminded global investors to prepare for a sooner-than-expected US interest rate hike (Fed Funds Rate, FFR) provided that the economy of the USA - the world’s largest economy - continues its improving trend. In fact, speculation has emerged that the FFR will be raised before the end of 2014 although Yellen stated more than once that the ‘close-to-zero’ interest rate environment would be maintained for a considerable period after the US bond-buying program (quantitative easing) has ended.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Performance Today

    Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Performance Today

    In line with the trend on other Asian stock indices, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) fell on Monday (22/09) amid profit taking after three days of gains. Not even the appreciating rupiah exchange rate and net buying of foreign investors (IDR 26.6 billion) were able to push Indonesia’s index into the green zone. The IHSG declined 0.15 percent to 5,219.80 points. All sectors on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) fell except for the consumer goods and finance sectors.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will not lower its key interest rate (BI rate) until accelerated inflation (brought on by the looming subsidized fuel price hike at the end of the year) has eased and US interest rates are stable (the US Federal Reserve may raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015). This implies that the relatively high interest rate environment in Indonesia (the key BI rate has been at 7.50 percent for almost a year) will continue (to safeguard financial stability) at the expense of higher economic growth.

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  • Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy is estimated to have a large influence on investors’ confidence in the financial or fiscal fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy and thus on the performance of the local stock index and currency. New president elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels after taking office in late October 2014 in an attempt to combat the country’s wide current account deficit (mainly caused by expensive oil imports to meet domestic fuel demand).

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  • Update Indonesian Stocks: Rising on Fed Speculation & Chinese Stimulus

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) closed 1.12 percent higher on Wednesday (17/09) supported by Tuesday’s positive stock indices on Wall Street as well as speculation that the US Federal Reserve will not raise its key interest rate yet. Today (17/09), the Federal Reserve will conclude its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Lastly, after weak economic data, it was reported that China’s central bank (PBOC) injected USD $82 billion into the country's five largest banks.

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