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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Can Bank Indonesia’s US Dollar Purchase Restriction Support the Rupiah?

    Can Bank Indonesia’s US Dollar Purchase Restriction Support the Rupiah?

    Last week, Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) refrained from adjusting its relatively high interest rate regime as it is committed to support the ailing rupiah and combat high inflation. Another decision that was revealed by Bank Indonesia is the soon-to-be-introduced regulation that limits total (non-collateral) monthly US dollar purchases to USD $25,000 (down from USD $100,000 previously). This regulation will be implemented in a move to thwart speculators that want to take advantage of the weak and volatile rupiah.

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  • Global Markets on Fire: What Happens to the Rupiah & Indonesian Stocks?

    Global Markets on Fire: What Happens to the Rupiah & Indonesian Stocks?

    The Indonesian rupiah continues to flirt with a 17-year low as the currency is getting closer and closer to the IDR 14,000 per US dollar level. Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks took another blow as the country’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) fell 2.39 percent on Friday (21/08). Such turmoil is not only confined to Indonesia but was felt across Asia and the West. Markets were plagued by selloffs in energy shares (due to falling oil prices) and uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates.

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  • Prolonged Uncertainty as a September Fed Fund Rate Hike is Unlikely

    Contrary to the expectation of most analysts, the US Federal Reserve will possibly refrain from raising its key interest rate in September. On Wednesday evening (19/08) the minutes of the Fed's latest FOMC meeting (held in July) were released and they showed that most officials agreed that the US economy is heading for an interest rate hike but is not quite there yet as inflation remains lower than targeted while the current sluggish global economy poses risks and triggers high volatility.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Fall ahead of FOMC Minutes & China Volatility

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Down ahead of FOMC Minutes & China Volatility

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah continued to weaken on Wednesday (19/08) in line with most other Asian stocks and currencies. Investors are cautious ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting, hence moving into safe haven assets. The minutes are to be released early Thursday morning local Indonesian time. Investors will be searching for signs informing about a possible Fed Fund Rate hike in September. If there are such signs, emerging market assets will be under heavy pressure tomorrow.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged on Global Uncertainty

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged on Global Uncertainty

    For the sixth straight month, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) left its interest rate regime unchanged at Tuesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting (18/08) as it aims to guard the rupiah against severe volatility (which occurred after China’s yuan was allowed to devalue, while markets are still preparing for monetary tightening in the USA) and tries to combat inflation.

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  • Why is Indonesia’s Rupiah Weakening? Global & Domestic Factors

    The Indonesian rupiah continues to depreciate on Tuesday (11/08). By 11:16 am local Jakarta time, the rupiah had depreciated 0.14 percent to IDR 13,570 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Indonesia’s currency has been touching 17-year lows due to bullish US dollar momentum ahead of looming higher US interest rates. Today, the US dollar received additional strength as China allowed its currency to weaken to a three-year low, dragging down other currencies in the Asian region.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Influence from China & USA

    Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Influence from China & USA

    Stock markets in Asia are mixed on Monday (10/08) with Indonesian stocks heading downwards. In the first trading session, Indonesia’s benchmark stock market (Jakarta Composite Index) fell 0.99 percent to 4,723.19 points on weak trade data from China and positive labor data from the USA. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s rupiah is moving sideways. At 13:12 pm local Jakarta time, the rupiah was still at IDR 13,541 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, unchanged since the opening this morning.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah is Persistently Depreciating against the US Dollar

    The Indonesian rupiah continued to depreciate on Friday (07/08). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 13,541 per US dollar on the last trading day of the week. As such, the rupiah continued to flirt with a 17-year low. With US nonfarm payrolls expected to improve at a steady pace, implying that an US interest rate hike may come sooner than later, the US dollar’s bullish momentum persisted. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD $40 million in July.

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  • Joko Widodo: Economic Growth Indonesia to Accelerate in Late 2015

    Joko Widodo: Economic Growth Indonesia to Accelerate in Late 2015

    In response to the release of Indonesia’s official Q2-2015 GDP growth figure, which puts the country’s economic growth pace at 4.67 percent year-on-year (a six-year low), President Joko Widodo said the economy of Indonesia is bound to improve in the second quarter of the year, particularly from September onwards. Widodo said slowing economic growth was the result of troubled government budget absorption at both the central level and regional level. Moreover, the country has been plagued by external factors.

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  • What Factors Influence Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah on Tuesday?

    What Factors Influence Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah on Tuesday?

    There are still persistent external and internal factors that make it difficult for Indonesian stocks to rise. By 12:07 am local Jakarta time, Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) was down 0.25 percent to 4,788.37 points. Meanwhile, the rupiah had appreciated 0.36 percent to IDR 13,462 per US dollar by the same time according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. What are the external (foreign) and internal (domestic) factors that influence the performance of Indonesian assets on today’s trading day (04/08)?

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • US Dollar to Dictate Asian Currency Moves in 2016

    US Dollar to Dictate Asian Currency Moves in 2016

    The financial markets have had an interesting year in 2015, with several significant surprises seen in the major asset classes. On the whole, 2015 could probably be best described as a year of stabilizing with stocks and commodities holding mostly steady throughout the period. This has been largely true in the currency markets, as well. But there are some factors that are likely to influence trends for world currencies in new ways in 2016. Central banks in some regions will likely have significant influence in others, and investors will need to remain aware of the possibilities early in order to position for potential trend chances in critical areas.

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  • Indonesia's Loan Growth, Financial Literacy and US Rate Hike

    Indonesia's Loan Growth, Financial Literacy and US Rate Hike

    Global credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service expects loan growth in Indonesia to continue to slow in 2016 as sluggish economic growth curtails corporate and individual demand for funding in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Standard & Poor's shows that the majority of Indonesians are financially illiterate, implying that the government needs to increase efforts to educate its population. Lastly, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao is convinced that a US interest rate hike will not cause a new financial crisis in Asia. Lets zoom in a bit further on these three subjects.

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  • Bank Indonesia Remains Committed to Tight Monetary Stance

    Bank Indonesia Remains Committed to Tight Monetary Stance

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) relatively high in order to safeguard Indonesia's financial stability in 2016 (instead of seeking accelerated economic growth through a rate cut). Despite easing pressures on inflation and the country's current account balance, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that persistent global uncertainty (referring to the looming US Fed Fund Rate hike and China's slowdown) justifies the tight monetary stance.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: US Payrolls & Rate Hike Expectations Surge

    Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: US Payrolls & Rate Hike Expectations Surge

    Indonesian assets weakened on Friday (06/11) on expectation that US non-farm payrolls and US employment data would improve, suggesting that a Fed Fund Rate hike may occur in December 2015. Such expectations were correct. After Indonesian and other Asian markets had closed on Friday, the US Labor Department announced that October payrolls rose 271,000 (the largest increase this year), while the US unemployment rate touched a seven-year low at 5 percent. Furthermore, the average hourly earnings over the past 12 months climbed by the most since 2009.

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  • Does Bank Indonesia Have Room to Cut its Key Interest Rate?

    Does Bank Indonesia Have Room to Cut its Key Interest Rate?

    As Indonesia's inflation rate has eased to 6.25 percent (y/y) in October 2015 from 6.83 percent (y/y) in the previous month, and given that Indonesian inflation will ease more markedly in the last two months of 2015 as the impact of the subsidized fuel price hike in November 2014 will vanish, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) seems to have more scope to cut its current relatively high benchmark interest rate, hence giving rise to accelerated economic activity.

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  • World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    Today (22/10), the World Bank released the October 2015 edition of its flagship Indonesia Economic Quarterly, titled "In Times of Global Volatility". In the report the World Bank states that despite current ongoing global uncertainties (caused by looming monetary tightening in the USA and China's economic slowdown), which make macroeconomic management difficult in the year ahead, pro-active government action could offset the negative impact and may help to boost growth.

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  • Weak US Employment Data Means No Fed Rate Hike in 2015?

     Weak US Employment Data Means No Fed Rate Hike in 2015?

    After the release of US non-farm payrolls on Friday (02/10) markets are starting to doubt whether the Federal Reserve has room to raise its key Fed Fund Rate at all in 2015. In September a total of 142,000 jobs were added to the US economy, well below the market consensus of 201,000. Moreover, August non-farm payrolls were revised down to 136,000 (from 173,000 initially). It was the first time since mid-2013 that US jobs grew at such a slow pace in two consecutive months. So far in 2015 US non-farm payrolls grew at an average of 198,000 per month, significantly down from the average growth pace of 260,000 per month last year.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in September

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in September

    The central bank of Indonesia announced on Thursday (17/09) that it the country’s key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, while maintaining the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent and the lending facility rate at 8.00 percent. According to Bank Indonesia (BI) this decision is consistent with its efforts to push inflation towards the target corridor of 4±1 percent in both 2015 and 2016. In addition, the decision is also part of Bank Indonesia’s measures to anticipate possibilities of a Fed Fund Rate (FFR) hike.

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  • Market Update: Why Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Friday?

    Market Update: Why Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Friday?

    After a real roller coaster ride, Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) climbed 0.35 percent to 4,446.20 points at the end of the trading week. The majority of key stock indices across the globe tended to strengthen on Friday after a week characterized by severe volatility amid concern about the economic situation in China.

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  • Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    During Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governors it was decided on 18th August 2015 to hold the BI Rate at 7.50 percent, while maintaining the Deposit Facility rate at 5.50 percent and the Lending Facility rate at 8.00 percent. The decision is consonant with efforts to control inflation within the target corridor of 4±1 percent in 2015 and 2016. In the short term, Bank Indonesia (BI) is focused on efforts to stabilize the rupiah amid uncertainty in the global economy, by optimizing monetary operations in the rupiah and the foreign exchange market.

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