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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Moody’s: Indonesian Companies Strong Enough to Face Currency Volatility

    Despite further slowing economic growth in 2014 and possible rupiah depreciation ahead of higher US interest rates later this year, global ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service said that the outlook for Indonesian companies is stable in terms of foreign exchange risks. Brian Grieser, Vice President and Senior Analyst of Corporate Finance at Moody’s, believes that weak rupiah performance is manageable for most of these companies. Starting from mid-2013, Indonesia’s rupiah has depreciated significantly amid US monetary tightening.

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  • Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that there are two main global challenges that are being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy and which can impact negatively on the nation’s economy. These challenges are the low global oil prices (which have fallen below USD $50 per barrel) and the monetary policy normalization of the US Federal Reserve amid the structural economic recovery of the USA. This policy involves higher US interest rates (expected in the second half of 2015) and a bullish US dollar.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update Indonesia: Stronger on Fed Minutes

    Rupiah Exchange Rate Update Indonesia: Stronger on Fed Minutes

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated against the US dollar on Thursday (08/01) amid mostly strengthening Asian equity and currency markets as a number of positive market sentiments arose (specifically the release of the Federal Reserve’s December minutes). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s rupiah appreciated 0.48 percent to IDR 12,674 per US dollar. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite (stock) Index was up 0.25 percent (5,221.89 points) at the end of today’s trading day.

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  • Why Does Indonesia’s Rupiah Have a Weak Start in 2015?

    Why Does Indonesia’s Rupiah Have a Weak Start in 2015?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate is experiencing a weak start of the New Year. According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency had depreciated 1.26 percent to IDR 12,543 per US dollar by 13:35 pm local Jakarta time on Friday (02/01). However, this weak performance is in line with the performance of other emerging Asian currencies against the US dollar on today’s trading day (amid an improving US economy), thus extending the depreciating trend that started in the second half of 2014.

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  • Analysis: Impact US Monetary Tightening on the Indonesian Economy

    The Standard Chartered Bank expects the economy of Indonesia to accelerate slightly in 2015 compared to this year’s estimated performance. The bank forecasts a growth pace of 5.2 percent year-on-year (y/y) next year, up from 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2014. Standard Chartered Bank economist Eric Sugandi recently said that the Indonesian economy will be affected by two factors: the great rotation (capital outflows from emerging markets ahead of US interest rate hikes) and growth disparity (slowing growth or recession in China and Japan).

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  • After Fed Meeting Indonesia’s Rupiah Appreciates Markedly

    Although many currencies weakened against the US dollar after the US Federal Reserve stated that it is on track to raise its key Fed Fund Rate "somewhere next year" amid structural improvement of the US economy (after having kept the rate near zero for a "considerable time"), Indonesia's rupiah opened strong on Thursday (18/12). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency had appreciated 0.91 percent to IDR 12,553 per US dollar at 9:15 local Jakarta time.

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah Rate Falls to Weakest Level since August 1998

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated to its lowest level since August 1998 (when Indonesia was in the early recovery stage from the Asian Financial Crisis). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 1.78 percent to IDR 12,689 per US dollar by 12:50 pm local Jakarta time on Monday (15/12). This weak performance is caused by bullish momentum of the US dollar (amid the improving US economy) in combination with local year-end US dollar demand for debt repayments.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah vs Dollar & Forex Reserves

    The central bank of Indonesia announced that the country’s foreign exchange reserves declined USD $900 million to USD $111.1 billion at the end of November 2014. The decline was primarily due to government debt repayments and the central bank’s use of foreign exchange to engage in monetary management. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate - which had touched six year lows in recent days - appreciated 0.08 percent to IDR 12,299 per US dollar on Friday (05/12) based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • Forecast: Bank Indonesia Expected to Keep Key Interest Rate at 7.5%

    The central bank of Indonesia is expected to keep its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at the next Board of Governors’ meeting (scheduled for Thursday 13 November 2014) in anticipation of accelerated inflation triggered by higher prices of subsidized fuels. The Indonesian government plans to raise prices of subsidized gasoline and diesel before the end of the month in an attempt to curb the country’s wide current account deficit and reallocate government funds to more structural or productive activities than fuel consumption.

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  • GDP Growth Indonesia Update: What about Economic Growth in Q3-2014?

    Economic growth in Indonesia is expected to continue to slow in the third quarter of 2014 according to the country’s central bank. Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo said on Thursday (30/10) that the institution believes gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Southeast Asia’s largest economy to reach 5.1 percent year-on-year (y/y) in Q3-2014, similar to the GDP growth result in the previous quarter (5.12 percent, y/y). Main reason for this slowing pace is the sluggish global economy and particularly the case of China.

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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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