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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Indonesian Rupiah Down on Oil Price, Fed Meeting and Political Uncertainty

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate came close to the IDR 12,000 per US dollar mark on Wednesday (18/06). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency depreciated 0.87 percent to IDR 11,997 per US dollar. Bank Indonesia stated that the weakening is due to violence in northern Iraq (giving rise to a higher oil price which subsequently pressures the financial balance sheets of countries that import oil, such as Indonesia), and concern about results of the Federal Reserve meeting (17-18 June 2014).

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  • Indonesia Susceptible to Capital Outflows due to Improving US Economy

    An improving US economy can lead to capital outflows worth IDR 130 trillion (US $11.2 billion) from Indonesia as funds are expected to flow back to the USA when interest rates are raised. Since 2009, emerging markets, including Indonesia, benefited from capital inflows amid large monetary stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve (quantitative easing as well as low interest rates). Although the stimulus was aimed at boosting the US economy, emerging markets felt the side effects (such as capital inflows and appreciating emerging market currencies).

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri said that the lower pace of economic growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, is a major concern for Indonesia as it leads to declining demand for commodities (and thus places downward pressure on commodity prices). As Indonesia is a major commodity exporter - such as coal, crude palm oil, nickel ore and tin - the country feels the impact of weak global demand for commodities. About 60 percent of Indonesia’s exports are commodities, mostly raw ones.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia decided to hold the key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent in October, with the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility rates kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. This level is expected to help control inflation at 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4.0±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level. Despite stable domestic conditions, Bank Indonesia sees risks: contagion risk stemming from US monetary tightening and possible higher subsidized fuel prices.

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  • Indonesian Stocks Rebound but Rupiah Continues to Depreciate

    Technically the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, or IHSG) had to rebound after sharp declines during the last couple of trading days making Indonesian stocks relatively cheap. The IHSG was also supported by rising stock indices in Japan and Hong Kong that rose on strong US jobs data (although other Asian markets fell due to concerns about sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, the rupiah continued to depreciate as the market is concerned about the political situation in Indonesia.

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  • Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Amid political uncertainty and a looming increase in US interest rates, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably in the past week. Market participants are increasingly concerned about the situation in Indonesia’s parliament where a majority of political parties - named the Merah-Putih coalition (led by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto) - is expected to undermine president-elect Joko Widodo’s reform programs as well as the democratic foundations of the country.

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  • Indonesia’s House Approves 2015 State Budget; Budget Deficit 2.21% of GDP

    Indonesia’s House Approves 2015 State Budget; Budget Deficit 2.21% of GDP

    Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) approved the 2015 State Budget on Monday (29/09) that was proposed by the outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration. The budget deficit is now set at IDR 245.9 trillion (USD $20.5 billion), equivalent to 2.21 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and lower than the 2.32 percent of GDP proposed by the government in both the Financial Memorandum and the Revised 2015 State Budget. However, the accepted budget deficit is still high compared to previous years.

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  • Federal Reserve & Indonesia: Limiting the Impact of Higher Interest Rates

    Federal Reserve & Indonesia: Limiting the Impact of Higher Interest Rates

    US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen reminded global investors to prepare for a sooner-than-expected US interest rate hike (Fed Funds Rate, FFR) provided that the economy of the USA - the world’s largest economy - continues its improving trend. In fact, speculation has emerged that the FFR will be raised before the end of 2014 although Yellen stated more than once that the ‘close-to-zero’ interest rate environment would be maintained for a considerable period after the US bond-buying program (quantitative easing) has ended.

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  • Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Performance Today

    Stocks & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Performance Today

    In line with the trend on other Asian stock indices, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) fell on Monday (22/09) amid profit taking after three days of gains. Not even the appreciating rupiah exchange rate and net buying of foreign investors (IDR 26.6 billion) were able to push Indonesia’s index into the green zone. The IHSG declined 0.15 percent to 5,219.80 points. All sectors on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) fell except for the consumer goods and finance sectors.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will not lower its key interest rate (BI rate) until accelerated inflation (brought on by the looming subsidized fuel price hike at the end of the year) has eased and US interest rates are stable (the US Federal Reserve may raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015). This implies that the relatively high interest rate environment in Indonesia (the key BI rate has been at 7.50 percent for almost a year) will continue (to safeguard financial stability) at the expense of higher economic growth.

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  • Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy is estimated to have a large influence on investors’ confidence in the financial or fiscal fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy and thus on the performance of the local stock index and currency. New president elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels after taking office in late October 2014 in an attempt to combat the country’s wide current account deficit (mainly caused by expensive oil imports to meet domestic fuel demand).

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  • Update Indonesian Stocks: Rising on Fed Speculation & Chinese Stimulus

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) closed 1.12 percent higher on Wednesday (17/09) supported by Tuesday’s positive stock indices on Wall Street as well as speculation that the US Federal Reserve will not raise its key interest rate yet. Today (17/09), the Federal Reserve will conclude its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Lastly, after weak economic data, it was reported that China’s central bank (PBOC) injected USD $82 billion into the country's five largest banks.

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