For the first time since early November 2020 – which is around five months ago – the Indonesian rupiah depreciated beyond the IDR 14,500 per US dollar level. It is a threshold that makes Indonesians a bit concerned.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,542,516 confirmed infections, 41,977 deaths (6 April 2021)
14 April 2021 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,146) -6.00 -0.04%
EUR/IDR (17,335) +57.05 +0.33%
Jakarta Composite Index (6,050.28) +122.84 +2.07%
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While most of the focus, rightfully, remains centered on the disaster in Central Sulawesi where presumably thousands of people have lost their lives due to a big earthquake and devastating tsunami, it is worth keeping an eye on the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate which is again facing heavy pressures and has now slipped beyond the psychological boundary of IDR 15,000 per US dollar.
Indonesian assets remain under pressure as the US 10-year treasury yield rose to 3.095 percent, touching a near seven-year peak. As a result the US dollar is at a five-month high. While the US dollar rally stalled last week after the release of weaker-than-expected US inflation (April data), the greenback's performance was lifted this week on the back of strong US consumer spending figures. It is having a big impact in Asia.
The Indonesian rupiah and benchmark Jakarta Composite Index are again under pressure on Tuesday (15/05) as the 10-year US treasury yield is again touching 3 percent, while tensions in the Middle East increase and uncertainty about US-China trade relations persist ahead of a meeting between US and Chinese officials in Washington later this week where trade talks resume. Meanwhile, crude oil prices recovered to around USD $71 per barrel, approaching a 3.5 years high, on the back of reduced supply as OPEC reported that the global oil glut has been virtually eliminated.
Indonesia Investments expects to see Bank Indonesia raising its benchmark interest rate at least once in 2018 in order to relieve pressures on the Indonesian rupiah. Rising expectations that the US Federal Reserve will implement four interest rate hikes in 2018, while the 10-year US treasury yield passed beyond the 3 percent line, have resulted in major pressures on emerging market assets, including Indonesia's rupiah and stocks.
On Friday (27/04) Indonesian stocks and the rupiah were stable, a performance that is in stark contrast to that of the past week. Capital outflows, the direct consequence of US treasury yields climbing beyond 3 percent, are also negative for Indonesian bond yields. Indonesia's 10-year state bond yield (FR0064) rose to 7.130 percent on Thursday (26/04), its highest position since July 2017 and jumping from 6.995 percent on the preceding day.
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index continued to be plagued by a sell-off on Thursday (26/04) after already having fallen 2.40 percent on the preceding trading day. Today the benchmark index of Indonesia plunged another 2.81 percent to 5,909.20 points amid climbing US treasury yields (passing beyond the psychological boundary of three percent).
Indonesian stocks and the rupiah remained under heavy pressure on Wednesday (25/04) after the benchmark ten-year US bond yields passed beyond the 3 percent level (for the first time since early 2014), thus lifting the US dollar and causing capital outflows from emerging markets. While most Asian stocks are trading in red territory today, Indonesian stocks are the most badly affected. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index tumbled 2.40 percent to 6,079.85 points.
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In an ad hoc press conference on Thursday (26/04) Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo provided an update on the performance of the Indonesian rupiah as well as an update on the strategies that are - or can be - used by the central bank to safeguard a stable rupiah. When the ad hoc press conference was announced we initially expected to see an interest rate hike. However, based on a statement from Bank Indonesia, this seems to be the last option the central bank wants to use.
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