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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

  • 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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