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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • What Impacted on the Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah this Week?

    Apparently, the Federal Reserve’s message that it would still wait before raising US interest rates only implied a brief weakening of the US dollar against emerging Asian currencies. On Friday (20/03), the Indonesian rupiah depreciated 0.51 percent to IDR 13,124 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Current high volatility is also the result of different policies being executed by different central banks. Whereas the US Federal Reserve aims to further tighten monetary policy, central banks in Japan and Europe do the opposite.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks Strong after Federal Reserve Meeting

    Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks Strong after Federal Reserve Meeting

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate strengthened rapidly on Thursday (19/03) after the Federal Reserve refrained from raising its key interest rate at the two-day FOMC meeting that ended on Wednesday (18/03) as US inflation is still tame while US economic growth somewhat moderated. The US central bank signaled that it is not in a hurry to raise interest rates, but, on the other hand, it also dropped the word ‘patient’ from its guidance on interest rates (which have been at historic lows since late 2008).

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in March

    Central Bank of Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in March

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 7.50 percent at today’s Board of Governors’ Meeting. The overnight deposit facility rate and lending facility rate were maintained at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. Bank Indonesia considers that the current interest rate environment is in line with its target to push inflation within its target range of 3.0-5.0 percent (y/y) in 2015 and to curb the country’s current account deficit to a range of 2.5-3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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  • Downward Spiral Indonesian Rupiah; Falls Beyond 13,200 per USD

    Downward Spiral Indonesian Rupiah; Falls Beyond 13,200 per USD

    Regarding Indonesia, the spotlight remains sharply focused on the drastically depreciating rupiah exchange rate. As speculation is growing that the US Federal Reserve will soon raise its interest rate regime, emerging market assets (both currencies and stocks) tend to weaken. However, although most Asian emerging currencies are weakening against the US dollar, the rupiah is particularly vulnerable as Indonesia is plagued by a wide current account deficit, which informs investors that the country is relying on foreign capital inflows.

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  • Rupiah & Stocks Update Indonesia: Bullish US dollar Plagues Markets

    Rupiah & Stocks Update Indonesia: Bullish US dollar Plagues Markets

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate are feeling the negative impact of the bullish US dollar on Monday (09/03) after stronger-than-expected US payrolls fuel expectation that the US Federal Reserve may start to raise its key interest rate in June. Moreover, last week Fed Chair Janet Yellen had already signalled to Congress that the US central bank may lessen its ‘patient stance’ on a looming interest rate hike. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell 1.25 percent to 5,445.84 points on Monday’s first trading session (09/03).

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  • February Inflation Update Indonesia: Rice Causing Inflationary Pressures

    February Inflation Update Indonesia: Rice Causing Inflationary Pressures

    Indonesian inflation is expected to have eased further in February 2015 on lower food prices. One notable exception, however, is rice. Rice prices have soared approximately 30 percent year-on-year (y/y) up to IDR 12,000 per kilogram in February. Higher rice prices have been caused by distribution obstacles for Raskin (‘rice for the poor’) operations in combination with this year’s late harvest season (between March and June). Fluctuation in prices of rice, the staple food of 250 million Indonesians, has a significant impact on inflation in Indonesia.

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  • What Impacts on the Indonesian Rupiah Today? Fed, China, Greece & Inflation

    What Impacts on the Indonesian Rupiah Today? Fed, China, Greece & Inflation

    After Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated that the US central bank will be patient in raising the interest rate environment in the world’s largest economy, Indonesian assets gained on Wednesday (25/02). Both the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index and rupiah exchange rate strengthened 0.51 percent yesterday. Apart from increased speculation that the Fed will not raise interest rates before summer, expectation that Greece will avoid a disastrous default brought more positive market sentiments.

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  • Rupiah Indonesia Update: Falling towards IDR 13,000 per US Dollar

    Indonesia’s rupiah depreciated to its lowest level since mid-December 2014 nearly touching the psychological level of IDR 13,000 per US dollar ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen appearance before the US Senate Banking Committee and the US Congress (in a two-day meeting) to elaborate on the Fed’s stance on US interest rates. As US jobless claims fell more than expected, analysts believe that it will not take long before the US central bank introduces higher borrowing costs in the world’s largest economy.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: No ‘Grexit’? Emerging Market Assets Gain

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: No ‘Grexit’? Emerging Market Assets Gain

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index) edged higher on Monday (23/02) to set another all-time record high supported by foreign investors’ net buying (IDR 708.2 billion), optimism that Greece will not default on its debt or exit from the Eurozone, and on gaining Southeast Asian stock markets (while markets in China were still closed due to Chinese New Year). Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 12,836 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    Benedict Bingham, Senior Resident Representative for Indonesia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expects that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will remain committed to the tighter monetary policy in a bid to safeguard the country’s fiscal fundamentals amid external pressures. Apart from sluggish global economic growth, the looming interest rate hike in the USA (later this year) is expected to rock Indonesia as it will trigger capital outflows from emerging markets.

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • Interest Rate Environment: Why Bank Indonesia Left it Unchanged?

    Interest Rate Environment: Why Bank Indonesia Left it Unchanged?

    Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to hold the country’s key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent, and the lending facility rate at 8.00 percent at the Board of Governor’s Meeting conducted on Tuesday 17 March 2015. Bank Indonesia said that its decision is in line with its ongoing efforts to push inflation back to the target range of 4±1 percent for both 2015 and 2016, and to guide the country’s current account deficit towards a healthier level at 2.5-3 percent of GDP in the medium term.

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  • Bank Indonesia Lowers Key Interest Rate in Surprise Move

    In a surprise move, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to lower its key interest rate (BI rate) by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent at the Board of Governor’s Meeting on Tuesday (17/02). The deposit facility rate (Fasbi) was also lowered by 25 basis points (to 5.50 percent), while the lending facility rate remained steady at 8.00 percent. In a press release the central bank stated that the current policy direction is estimated to moderate the country’s wide current account deficit further, while inflation remains under control.

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Indonesia’s Rupiah at 6-Year Low; Expected to Weaken until Mid-2015

    Amid weakening emerging Asian currencies, Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate touched a six-year low on Friday (12/12) after US consumer spending rose in November while US jobless claims fell (signalling a strong recovery in the world’s largest economy). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah depreciated 0.95 percent to IDR 12,467 per US dollar on Friday. Besides the impact of the US dollar’s bullish momentum, the rupiah also weakened on year-end US dollar demand from local companies for debt payments.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 12,164 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/11) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The performance is caused by local companies’ month-end US dollar demand as well as US dollar buying by Indonesia’s central bank. Although unconfirmed, it is speculated that the central bank is boosting its foreign exchange reserves ahead of a looming external shock triggered by higher US interest rates in the second or third quarter of 2015.

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  • Financial Update: Foreign Debt of Indonesia Continues to Rise

    Total foreign outstanding debt of Indonesia continues to grow at a robust pace. Based on data from the country’s central bank, total external debt rose 11.2 percent year-on-year to USD $292 billion at the end of September 2014 as private Indonesian companies have been eager to seek lower interest rates abroad. Privately-held foreign debt was up 14 percent y/y to USD $159.3 billion at end-September. Central Bank official Tirta Segara said that private sector debt is concentrated in the financial, manufacturing and mining sectors.

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  • Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    The current account deficit of Indonesia eased to USD $6.84 billion, or 3.07 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2014 (down from USD $8.69 billion, or 4.07 percent of GDP in the previous quarter). This improvement was mainly supported by a solid surplus in the country’s non-oil & gas sector, partly the result of the US economic recovery as well as resumed copper concentrate exports by Freeport Indonesia and Newmont Nusa Tenggara (after successful mining contract renegotiations).

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Today: Performance of the Jakarta Composite Index

    Stocks & Rupiah Today: Performance of the Jakarta Composite Index

    Although we initially expected that the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) would be supported by the various macroeconomic data (inflation, trade balance, and manufacturing activity) that were released by Statistics Indonesia today, the opposite is what happened. The index went into red territory amid profit taking, although the bond market in fact strengthened and foreign investors recorded net buying at IDR 224 billion (USD $18.7 million).

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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  • Market’s Lukewarm Reception of Joko Widodo’s ‘Kabinet Kerja Indonesia’

    The market showed today (27/10) that the composition of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s cabinet did not live up to expectations. On Sunday afternoon, Widodo had announced the names of the ministers inside his Working Cabinet (Kabinet Kerja) after having delayed the announcement for almost a week as several of his ministerial candidates needed to be replaced having been red flagged by the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). This then heightened expectations that Widodo’s cabinet would constitute a ‘dream team’.

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  • Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service stated that it maintains a stable outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign and corporate debt rating in the next quarters due to the country’s healthy credit fundamentals, solid macroeconomy, and reduced political tensions. Moody’s believes that Indonesia’s fundamentals are strong enough to offset the negative impact of external pressures such as looming higher US interest rates and slowing economic growth in China. Moody’s had raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to investment grade in late 2011.

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