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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Indonesian Rupiah Starts Weaker as US Dollar Rises after Inflation Data

    The Indonesian rupiah started the new trading week on a negative note. By 10:45 am local Jakarta time, the rupiah had depreciated 0.17 percent to IDR 13,181 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The primary reason for this performance is that the US dollar has strengthened globally after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stated that she is convinced that the world will see the first US interest rate hike in almost a decade before the end of the year (provided that US economic data continue to improve).

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  • Indonesian Stocks Up, Rupiah Weakens: Focus on Fed’s FOMC Minutes

    Indonesian stocks continued to rise one day after the country’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced to leave the interest rate policy unchanged and, instead, choosing to loosen its macro-prudential policy by revising the LDR-RR regulation, LTV policy for mortgage loans and down payments on automotive loans, hence increasing liquidity and boosting credit growth in the banking sector. Indonesia's rupiah, however, depreciated sharply after the market opened on Wednesday (20/05) due to the strong US dollar.

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  • Dilemma Bank Indonesia: To Cut Interest Rates or Not?

    Dilemma Bank Indonesia: To Cut Interest Rates or Not?

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is currently dealing with a dilemma. On the one hand, its relatively high interest rate environment (with the benchmark BI rate at 7.50 percent) is partly responsible for the country’s slowing economic growth as credit expansion is curtailed and economic activity declines. On the other hand, Bank Indonesia’s high BI rate is needed to safeguard Indonesia’s financial stability as inflation is still above the central bank’s target, the current account deficit nearly unsustainable, and capital outflows loom.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Mixed Signals Federal Reserve

    Indonesian stocks continued to fall today (30/04). After the first trading session, Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell 0.11 percent to 5,099.83 points. The index was negatively affected by yesterday’s weakening stock indices in the USA and Europe. These indices experienced a correction due to mixed signals stemming from the latest US Federal Reserve’s FOMC meeting. Contrary to its March policy statement, the Fed did not rule out hiking rates at the next meeting. However, it also downgraded the US growth outlook.

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  • World Bank Report: Latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update

    World Bank Report: Latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update

    In the latest edition of the East Asia Pacific Economic Update, released on Monday (13 April 2015), the World Bank revised down its economic growth forecast for developing East Asia & China to 6.7 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2015 and 2016 from its previous assumption of 6.9 percent growth (y/y) in 2015 and 6.8 percent (y/y) in 2016. The main reason for this downward revision is the global uncertain economic context, which includes the impact of looming higher US interest rates and the appreciating US dollar.

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  • Bank Indonesia Used Foreign Exchange Reserves to Support Rupiah

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD $3.9 billion to USD $111.6 billion at the end of March 2015 as the central bank used part of the forex reserves to support the Indonesian rupiah which had started to depreciate markedly due to bullish US dollar momentum amid further looming monetary tightening in the USA. The rupiah had fallen to a 17-year low of IDR 13,237 per US dollar in mid-March as market players are anticipating an interest rate hike in the USA.

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  • Stocks & Currency: Asian Emerging Markets Relieved after Fed Minutes

    Stocks & Currency: Asian Emerging Markets Relieved after Fed Minutes

    Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting (17-18 March), released Wednesday (08/04), show that the US central bank is divided about the timing of higher US interest rates. Several policymakers would approve such an interest rate hike in June 2015, while others would prefer to see rates increase later this year or even next year as they consider that the US economy is still not strong enough yet. However, when reading the minutes there are some signs suggesting that the institution is on course to raise its key rate this year.

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  • Indonesia Market Update: Why Stocks Go Up but the Rupiah Goes Down?

    Indonesia Market Update: Why Stocks Go Up but the Rupiah Goes Down?

    Indonesian stocks continued to climb strongly after the market opened on Tuesday (31/03). The country’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) surged nearly one percent. Several external and internal factors are at play here. Firstly, the US Federal Reserve indicated over the past week that it may not raise its key interest rate too soon, leading to investors’ appetite for emerging market assets. Secondly, Chinese policymakers provided room for increased infrastructure spending and monetary stimulus.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar; Factors at Play

    Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar; Factors at Play

    In the past couple of days the US dollar regained its bullish momentum, strengthening against most other currencies including the Indonesian rupiah. The greenback had been under pressure after the Federal Reserve signalled - contrary to markets expectation - it would not raise the US interest rate environment too soon as the US economic growth outlook and US inflation were still not at the right level yet. This made emerging market assets more attractive for the short-term. However, this development seems to have been short-lived.

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  • Indonesian Currency Update: Stronger Rupiah, Weaker US Dollar

    Indonesian Currency Update: Stronger Rupiah, Weaker US Dollar

    Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate started the week on a firm tone as the US dollar weakened amid uncertainty over the timing of higher US interest rates. Contrary to initial expectation, the latest Federal Reserve meeting (held on 17-18 March) did not indicate that there will be a quick interest rate hike in the world’s largest economy hence boosting appetite for emerging market assets. In addition, the Indonesian government and central bank (Bank Indonesia) pledged to safeguard rupiah stability.

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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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