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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

  • Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    Weaker Yuan Likely to Weigh on Indonesian Businesses

    For most of this year, the financial media has held a generally positive tone. There have been some exceptions in cases like the Eurozone which is still mired in a deeply divided sovereign debt crisis. But for most of the world, 2015 has been a positive period in terms of general growth in their broad trends. So it might be easy for macro investors to assume that most markets are currently establishing themselves in the bullish direction.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Headed for more Declines against US Dollar

    Indonesian Rupiah Headed for more Declines against US Dollar

    For most of this year, the Indonesian rupiah has met selling pressure against the US Dollar. Year-to-date price activity in the USD/IDR shows a rise from below IDR 12,250 to new highs above IDR 13,330 per US dollar. For Indonesian export companies, this is great news as it means that their products will be cheaper for foreign consumers to buy. For the domestic economy, this creates a different set of implications as it also makes it less likely that foreign investors will be looking to buy into Indonesian assets.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah Falls on Changing Global Expectations

    Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah Falls on Changing Global Expectations

    When we look at the long-term activity in the Indonesian rupiah, we have seen a surprising level of strength when viewing the activity seen in recent months. This has been surprising for a few different reasons, as this is not something that can be said for markets in emerging Asia as a whole. This essentially suggests that economic activity in the region has been somewhat disjointed and that trends visible in one country cannot necessarily be expected in another. But when we look at chart activity in the rupiah itself, we can see that the broader trends have started to change over the last two months.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia Update: Weak Performance Past Week

    Stocks & Rupiah Indonesia Update: Weak Performance Past Week

    Most stock markets and currencies in Southeast Asia weakened on Friday (29/05), including Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index and the rupiah. The Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.40 percent to 5,216.38 points, while the rupiah depreciated 0.01 percent to IDR 13,224 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Over the past week, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weakened primarily due to the Greek debt crisis, looming higher US interest rates and the lack of positive domestic factors.

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  • Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Rupiah & Stocks Weaken Ahead of Bank Indonesia Policy Meeting

    Investors are clearly waiting for results of Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governor’s Meeting, conducted today (19/05). In this monthly policy meeting, Indonesia’s central bank will decide on its monetary approach. For most market participants it is of crucial importance to learn whether Bank Indonesia will adjust its interest rate policy in order to support the country’s economic growth (which slowed to a five-year low in the first quarter of 2015). Ahead of results, scheduled to be released this afternoon, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah weaken.

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  • How Will US Dollar Trends Impact the Indonesian Rupiah?

    How Will US Dollar Trends Impact the Indonesian Rupiah?

    Over the last year, the Indonesian rupiah has been rising when compared to a wide variety of world currencies. Some of the more pronounced strength has been seen against the US dollar, which has been travelling in the opposite direction for most of the same period. To many investors that are focused on the currency markets, it might appear as though these two currencies are largely unrelated. But when we look at the trends that have been developing over the last year, it quickly becomes clear that this is just not the case.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Maintained at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Maintained at 7.50%

    Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent and lending facility rate at 8.00 percent. This interest rate environment is considered to be in line with the central bank’s ongoing efforts to push the country’s inflation figure within its target of 4±1 percent for 2015 and 2016, as well as to control the country’s current account deficit towards a healthier level at 2.5-3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the medium term.

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  • News Update Indonesia: Inflation Remains under Control in 2015

    According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia recorded monthly inflation of 0.17 percent in March 2015. It was the first month this year in which Indonesia recorded inflation. In January and February Indonesia experienced deflation of 0.24 percent (m/m) and 0.36 (m/m), respectively. March inflation was primarily the result of administered price adjustments: higher prices of (low-octane) gasoline, diesel and 12-kg LPG canisters. These adjustments were necessary amid rising oil prices and rupiah depreciation.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Update: Could US Policy Weigh on Rupiah?

    When we look at market activity in the Indonesian rupiah, some very clear trends have started to emerge. When viewed against the US dollar the rupiah has seen pronounced weakness over this time frame. Many investors have started to view this activity as overdone and we have started to see analyst forecasts calling for more strength in the rupiah over the next few months. But there are also arguments that can be made against this outlook and it will be important for those investing in Indonesian assets to understand some of these factors, so that proper positioning can be undertaken.

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  • Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) stated that, besides global volatility caused by uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates, the rupiah has been - and remains - under pressure due to Indonesia’s increasing private sector debt and the wide current account deficit. Moreover, as subsidiaries of multinational companies in Indonesia tend to send back dividends to the foreign parent companies in the second quarter (implying rising US dollar demand), the rupiah is plagued by additional pressures up to June.

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