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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

  • 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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