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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

  • Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Experiencing External Pressure

    Stock markets in the Asia Pacific were down on Tuesday (16/09) as investors are awaiting the results of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) today (Wednesday 17/09) and are focused on the condition of the Chinese economy. Moreover, investors were disappointed to hear that next Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will appoint 16 party politicians to lead ministries in his cabinet (which is in contrast with his initial plan to appoint technocrats). Lastly, the Indonesian rupiah exchange continued to depreciate.

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  • Bank for International Settlements: Emerging Markets Vulnerable

    Bank for International Settlements: Emerging Markets Vulnerable

    The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) wrote in its most recent report that emerging economies, which includes Indonesia, are highly vulnerable to severe capital outflows as investments from the West have been highly speculative and can be quickly pulled out from emerging markets. Even when only a light shock occurs, capital outflows will be significant as international investors have been showing ‘herd behaviour’. This behavior can rock the financial fundamentals of emerging markets and leave these countries shattered.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) kept its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent for the tenth consecutive month as inflation is under control and well within the year-end target of the central bank (3.5-5.5 percent). The lending facility and deposit facility were kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively, at Thursday’s Board of Governor’s Meeting (11/09). The central bank also expects that the current interest rate environment is capable of curbing the country’s wide current account deficit.

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  • Indonesian Government Eyes Economic growth of 5.8% in 2015

    The government of Indonesia agreed with the House Budget Committee to adjust the economic growth target of Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2015 to 5.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point up from the initial growth target proposed by the government in the Financial Memorandum as well as the 2015 State Budget Draft (APBN). Still, the 5.8 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target constitutes the lowest growth target set in Indonesia’s state budget (excluding revised state budgets) since the year 2010.

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  • Indonesian Property Stocks Gain Most in First 8 Months of 2014

    Indonesian Property Stocks Gain Most in First 8 Months of 2014

    Property stocks listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) have outperformed all other stocks between the first trading day of 2014 up to 29 August 2014. The IDX’ property sector category rose 37.6 percent in the indicated period, whereas the benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) - which involves all stocks traded on the IDX - climbed 18.7 percent over the same period. On the IDX, stocks are placed in ten sectoral categories. The second-best performing sectoral index was finance (+24.5 percent).

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  • SBY Declines but Joko Widodo Set to Curb Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidies

    SBY Declines but Joko Widodo Determined to Curb Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidies

    In the past days, Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy has been in the spotlight of Indonesian media continuously. When it was reported that incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and newly elected president Joko Widodo would meet on the island of Bali this week to discuss various transitional matters, speculation emerged that the country’s generous fuel subsidies, which seriously burden the government’s budget as well as current account, might be wound down before the new government is inaugurated in October 2014.

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  • Update Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate: Why Depreciating?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.35 percent to IDR 11,714 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Monday (25/08) as the positive market sentiments that were caused by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court that rejected Prabowo Subianto’s claim that the 2014 presidential election was invalid due to massive fraud, eased. Market participants were again looking at the domestic economic condition as well as international developments that are considered to impact on the performance of Indonesia’s currency.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Rate: Stagnant on Federal Reserve and 2015 State Budget

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated slightly against the US dollar on Monday (18/08). At the end of the trading day the rupiah had weakened 0.07 percent to IDR 11,687 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. This performance was in line with the performance of most other emerging Asian currencies as market participants are awaiting the Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole symposium which may provide new information about US short-term interest rates and other policy strategies.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Appreciating 0.38%

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.38 percent to IDR 11,758 per US dollar on Monday (04/08) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index by 15:40 pm local Jakarta time. Although the rupiah had appreciated to a stronger level (IDR 11,713) earlier on Monday, the currency slightly rebounded after Statistics Indonesia announced that the country posted a USD $300 million trade deficit in June 2014, thereby placing more pressure on the nation’s current account balance.

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  • Jokowi’s Strong Performance in Debate Impacts on Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated sharply on Monday (07/07) due to the strong performance of presidential candidate Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in the presidential debate with rival candidate Prabowo Subianto last Saturday evening. Indonesian media declared Jokowi the winner of the debate because of his confident, eloquent and well-structured performance. This debate, in which the candidates were joined by their running mates, was the fifth and final one ahead of the presidential election on Wednesday 9 July.

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