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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

  • 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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