There are various reasons for investors to be cautious in Asia today. Markets need to digest and wait for political certainty in the United Kingdom and France (where elections brought political uncertainty), while two big central banks (the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan) are in the spotlight this week as they conduct their monthly policy meetings.
26 January 2022 (closed)
Jakarta Composite Index (6,600.82) +32.65 +0.50%
USD/IDR (14,146) -6.00 -0.04%
EUR/IDR (17,335) +57.05 +0.33%
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After the US Federal Reserve decided to leave its interest rates unchanged at the September policy meeting on Wednesday (21/09) Asian stocks surged while emerging market currencies appreciated against the US dollar. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index had surged 1 percent by 11:30 am local Jakarta time, while the Indonesian rupiah had appreciated 0.38 percent to IDR 13,087 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). A delay in US monetary tightening makes the higher yielding (but riskier) emerging markets assets an attractive alternative.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) and Bank Indonesia (BI) signed the third Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) on 12 December 2013. The arrangement is an expansion of the current BSA which almost doubles the size of the facility from USD $12 billion to $22.76 billion. This arrangement also introduces a new feature in the form of a crisis prevention scheme to support potential and/or actual liquidity needs. Both institutions also agreed to establish a cross-border liquidity arrangement to enhance the stability of financial markets.
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In the fourth week of January, Bank Indonesia's rupiah exchange rate (the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate or JISDOR) depreciated 0.41 percent against the US dollar. This weakening trend of the rupiah was caused by various factors. Most importantly, the US dollar has been gaining strength against emerging currencies, including Indonesia, as speculation emerged that the Federal Reserve will curtail its massive monthly bond-buying program (quantitative easing) by more than just USD $10 billion per month.
In recent years, the Japanese economy has experienced significant hardships, generated largely by the aftermath of the hurricane and tsunami that hit the country in 2011. But newly adapted stimulus programs (the much-discussed programs of Abenomics) have boosted economic growth rates since that period. As a result, annual GDP is expected to rise to 1.8% for 2014, and these improvements are expected to have a supportive on the performances seen in surrounding economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) started rather well on Thursday's trading day (05/09) despite the fact that most analysts expected a weakening index. Positive market sentiments were triggered by rising Asian stock indices (brought on by yesterday's rising indices on Wall Street). However, as the rupiah continued its downward spiral, market players began to exit the market, thus resulting in the 0.55 percent fall of the IHSG to 4,050.86. Foreign investors were net sellers of Indonesian assets, while domestic players recorded a net purchase.
On Friday's trading day, the Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) started in an upward direction. However, as it felt the impact of European stock indices, that mostly opened lower, the IHSG weakened 0.32 percent to 4,978.51 points. Moreover, most other Asian indices were down (except for Hong Kong's HSI) and thus contributed to the IHSG's fall. Market participants also seem to fear the annual 'May Cycle' of the IHSG, which involves the traditional large-scale selling of IHSG stocks.
On Thursday 4 April 2013, market players were hoping that the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG) would climb beyond the psychological level of 5,000. However, the presence of negative market sentiments - and the overbought condition of the IHSG - were used as reasons to engage in profit taking. It consequently pushed down Indonesia's main financial market indicator to the level of 4,922.61, an 1.18 percent fall compared to Wednesday's trading day.
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