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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

  • 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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