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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in November Policy Meeting

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in November Policy Meeting

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo announced during a press conference that the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent during the Board of Governor's Meeting on 17 November 2015. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia maintained the deposit facility rate and the lending facility rate at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. The current interest rate environment is considered sufficient to face persistent global uncertainties caused by the looming Fed Fund Rate hike and sluggish economic growth in the Eurozone and China.

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  • Worldwide Stock Plunge; What Are the Factors at Play?

    Worldwide Stock Plunge; What Are the Factors at Play?

    Across the world, stock indices plunged on persistent concern about lower commodity prices (especially as crude oil dived to a two-month low and may start to flirt with the USD $40 per barrel level again), concern about slowing credit growth in China, while markets are also bracing for a possible US interest rate hike in December (a move that will particularly trigger capital outflows from riskier emerging market assets). This month markets are under severe selling pressure after experiencing a rally in October.

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  • Asian Stocks in the Red, Indonesia Bucking the Trend

    Asian Stocks in the Red, Indonesia Bucking the Trend

    Asian shares are facing pressures on Friday (13/11) due to lower oil prices and increasing expectation that the US Federal Reserve will raise its key Fed Fund Rate by 25 basis points in December. Resource stocks are dragging down stock indices in Australia, Hong Kong and China by more than one percent. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index, however, is bucking the trend in Asia, having risen 0.51 percent to 4,485.12 points by 10:20 am local Jakarta time amid red indices in Asia. Meanwhile, the US dollar is strengthening against Asian currencies but not as sharply as initially predicted.

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  • Asian Stocks Expected to Be Under Pressure on Thursday

    Asian Stocks Expected to Be Under Pressure on Thursday

    Shares in Asia are expected to be under some pressure today as crude oil prices slid 2.9 percent overnight after the American Petroleum Institute released a report that stated US supplies grew unexpectedly by 6.3 million barrels. Other commodity prices were also down after the release of downbeat industrial output data from China on Wednesday. However, with China's positive October retail sales (posting the strongest gain of the year) there are few chances of seeing new massive stimulus from Chinese authorities. As such 'bad news' is no 'good news'.

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  • Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: China and Fed in Spotlight

    Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: China and Fed in Spotlight

    Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index climbed 0.01 percent to 4,451.59 points on Wednesday (11/11) despite foreign investors recording a net sell of IDR 614.4 billion (approx. USD $45.5 million). Uncertainty persists in the global economy as more macroeconomic data from China signal weaknesses in the world's second-largest economy. Growth in output from China's factories declined to a six-month low in October (missing expectations), following earlier disappointing trade and inflation data. On the other hand, it triggers hope that Beijing will step up stimulus measures.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Pressures due to China Inflation & Fed Rate Hike

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Pressures due to China Inflation & Fed Rate Hike

    Most stock indices in Asia fell on Tuesday's trading day (10/11) on concern that China's stalling economy negatively impacts on the pace of global economic growth, while markets are also bracing for a looming US interest rate hike before the year-end. Moreover, sentiments in Southeast Asia are not positive as the majority of Q3-2015 earnings reports have been unfavorable. Combined, it triggers a flight to safer haven assets. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index fell 1.08 percent to 4,451.05 points.

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  • Fed Rate Hike & China Slowdown. What is the Impact on Emerging Markets?

    Fed Rate Hike & China Slowdown. What is the Impact on Emerging Markets?

    With a staggering 271,000 jobs added to the US economy in October, exceeding forecasts by a big margin, while the US unemployment rate eased to 5.0 percent, the majority of analysts and market participants now expect to see a 25 basis points Fed Fund Rate hike in December (markets are currently pricing in a 70 percent chance of a December US rate hike). Meanwhile, trade data from China underscore the persistent economic slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. What are the effects of these issues on Indonesian assets?

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Yellen's Remarks Put Pressure on Emerging Market Assets

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah: Yellen's Remarks Put Pressure on Emerging Market Assets

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah are feeling the negative impact of news from the USA. Both Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said a Fed Fund Rate hike in December is a "live possibility" amid low US employment, continued GDP growth and confidence that inflation will rise to the US central bank's target range. As a result of these remarks gold dropped to a one-month low, stocks declined, while bond yields and the US dollar were pushed higher.

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  • Indonesian Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Positive Global Sentiments

    Indonesian Stock Market & Rupiah Update: Positive Global Sentiments

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah outperformed their regional peers on Tuesday (03/11) after US stocks posted strong gains overnight on the back of a spate of acquisition deals and positive US manufacturing activity and construction spending data. Most Asian stock indices rose on these improved global market sentiments. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index climbed 1.53 percent to 4,533.09 points.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken as Fed Opens Door to December Rate Hike

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken as Fed Opens Door to December Rate Hike

    Indonesian assets are leading declines in Asia's equity and currency markets on today's trading day after a 'hawkish' statement released by the Federal Reserve indicated that the US will not raise its Fed Fund Rate yet, but does seem to open a door to a December interest rate hike. Despite the good performance of US stocks on Wednesday (28/10), most Asian markets were down today. Moreover, solid factory output in Japan reduced chances of further stimulus measures in Japan (Japan's central bank is to meet this Friday).

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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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