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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

  • 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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