Governor of the Fed Janet Yellen stated that Policy Markers would stay patient about increasing benchmark rate. However they would still consider to increase bank interest.
USD value instantly weekend against most of leading currencies last mid week as Yellen made his statement at the Congress. In her semi-yearly monetary policy report, Yellen again firmly underscore the Fed’s promise to be patient about keeping benchmark rate from going up because it was impossible to do so at least until the next Policy meeting.
Yellen told the Committee of the Banking Senate that although the policy was designed for economic development, too many Americans were still jobless or semi jobless. Furthermore wages growth was still low and inflation was still below the Fed’s long term target of 2%.
USD was still under pressure after Yellen’s comment. In her two hour meeting with the congress Yellen explained that the committee might increase interest in the next few months. Furthermore the policy makers would erase the word “patient” in elaborating bank interest rate.
And there was possibility of increased bank interest at every meeting. The approach means increase of interest in early June although investors interpreted Yellen’s statement as instant increase of interest.
It was noteworthy that in some countries the Central Bank deliberately let their currency to weaken. Unlike the US Central Bank which started to reduce their liquidity support to the market, this year ECB would go down the market to execute quantitative easing, and this was also the policy adopted by Bank of Japan.
This step automatically made the USD to strengthen. Central Banks of Canada, Australia and India also lowered their bank interest, which was to keep their currency for strengthening significantly. Under such circumstances it was no need to interfere the market. There was lesson to learn from 2013 that market intervention had no significant impact on currency value drain forex reserves instead.
Over the year, Rupiah value had been weakening against USD. However as a whole, compared to other currencies Rupiah had been strengthening. So it was right to say that Rupiah was fluctuating according to the national fundamental factor.
Meanwhile IHSG stepped on the stairway up to the top, breaking through 5,400; investors kept rushing to the domestic stockmarket due to good prospect of some sectoral shares.
Rupiah was trying to move up last week (25/2/2015) Downturn of USD index would clash head on against US economic data which was sentiment to determine Rupiah value. Governor of the Fed Janet Yellen showed her satisfaction of economic performance except the inflation factor.
The intention to increase benchmark rate was there, but at least in the next two FOMC meeting Fed rate was almost certain to settle. Increase of the Fed’s rate would soon be preceded by forward guidance. The market responded positively to Yellen’s statement, as shown by index of S&P which increased, return of US Treasury was reduced in tandem with USD index. China’s manufacturing figures was predicted to descend.
Rupiah itself weakened together with most of the currencies in Asia and in tandem with strengthening of bonds. No over-intervention was visible by BI at the currency market. Yellen’s statement which breezed out hope that Fed rate would not increase in the near future generated positive sentiment on Rupiah. However, bad economic data in China could keep strengthening trend of USD in Asia.
Bankers and stock observers rated that diminishing Rupiah value which getting close to Rp.13,000 per USD must be watched on as it might hindrance Indonesia’s economic development. Rupiah at inter-bank transaction in Jakarta last Thursday (26/2) weakened by 16 points to become Rp.12,872 against the previous level at Rp.12,856 per USD.
Rupiah again slumped against USD with growing market anxiety over the situation in Greece as the potential of default was still there.
Some marketplayers were beginning to drift domestic sentiment, i.e. inflation data 2015 and Indonesia Trade Balance of January 2015 to be announced by BPS early this week.
Predictably strengthening of USD against global currencies would continue to happen resulting in lengthy Rupiah downturn. Strengthening of USD continued as some central banks were also weakening their currency against USD.
The apparent “exchange rate war” in global economy was becoming more visible as ECB and BoJ started quantitative easing followed by the central banks of Canada, Australia, Singapore and even India.
The impact on Rupiah value had been visible since end of 2014 when Rupiah was at the level of Rp.11,500 per USD and continued to weaken to around Rp.12,800. Weakening of exchange rate was done to inject stimulus to export, especially export of manufacturing products.
Unfortunately the Indonesian Government did not have the opportunity to benefit from Rupiah weakening as prices of premium export commodities was low while demand from buyer countries were just a low and not supportive to economic growth.
On the other hand, BI supported the real exchange rate system (RER) of Rupiah so although it was weakening against USD, Rupiah remained competitive against other currencies. In fact Rupiah was still strong enough in the “basket” of global currencies, still Rupiah value should be safeguarded.
If Rupiah failed to maintain is value against USD and other currencies, the negative impact would be felt in economic growth rate. If Rupiah continued to sink deeper than Rp.13,000 per USD , Indonesia’s economic growth would be a cry form the targeted 57.7.
Before the USD turn weak against other currencies last Thursday (25/2) Janet Yellen stated in her second day of presence at the Monetary Service Committee that even when the time comes for the Fed to increase interest, they would keep supporting America’s economic and keep watching the labor market to make sure betterment was there time after.
The Fed decided to be patient in terms of interest increase, meaning increase would not be at least until the next few meetings. Furthermore Greenbuck would be under pressure on the second day after Yellen’s statement. USD index which monitored Greenbuck against 6 other currencies was down by 0.29% to 94.223.
BI rated that in spite of the tendency of Rupiah weakening against USD lately, broadly speaking Indonesia’s economic development was rated as satisfactorily good. BI saw that in January there was inflation and in February inflation was under control. Even some Government’s policy to reform subsidy management.
On the monetary side, BI kept watching development in the USA whose economy tend to improve and also to watch Europe and Japan who planned to do quantitative easing. By estimate Rupiah position would be around Rp.12,800 – Rp.12,900 per USD during closing session last weekend.
The Capital Market
IHSG index during early session last week (27/2) slided down fast. Act of profit taking made index to end up at the red zone. To close transaction at session I (27/2) IHSG was at the position of 4,449.17, down by 2.25 points. Meanwhile index of LQ 45 was corrected by 1.41 points (0.15%) to become 958.8.
During opening session, investors were zealous to make a reckord at IHSG. Not long thereafter, profit taking was at target to make the best of index strengthening in the past few days. Act of profit taking caused IHSG to nose dive, touching the lowest level at 5,462.19
Trading was going on merrily, 121,180 transaction took place involving 3.54 billion lots worth Rp.2.95 trillion. 136 shares rose, 106 went down and 85 not for sale. IHSG moved in parallel with regional stockmarkets which tend to be corrected.
Strengthening that happened lately was befitted by stockholders for profit taking at weekend. Index of Nikkei 225 inched up by 28.74 points (0.15%) to become 18.814.53. index of KOSPI went down by 2.8 points (0.14%) to become 1,990.28. Index of Straits Times inched down by 0.19% (0.01%) to become 3,425.99.99.
Apparently BI’s policy to lower BI rate by 25 bps to become 7.5% was responded positively by the stock players; the positive impact was apparent, IHSG broke through 5,400.
Traffic of index would still progress till year end. The progress was attributed to betterment of the sectors of property, construction, infrastructure, and banking. By year end, many analysts projected index could break through 5,600, the lowest level attainable by IHSG. However it was not impossible that IHSG would exceed that level.
As known, BI lowered BI Rate by 0.25% to 7.5% with lending facility of 8% and Deposit Facility of 5.50%. BI’s policy was in line with the effort to bring deficit in current transaction to a safer level.
This year stockmarket would have to compete against bond market. The trend of bond market in Indonesia through 2015 was notably positive as seen in return of current year at 6.14% from 175,89 in January to become 187.14 on February 23 last. Meanwhile IHSG on February 23 posted return of current year amounting to 3.37% from 5,226,95 to 5,403.28.
The value of conventional outstanding Government bond through 2010 – 2014 posted increase every year. By end of 2014 the total outstanding was Rp284.4 trillion an increase of 24.7% (y o y) against previous year.
Meanwhile the value of outstanding Government’s Sukuk (a Syariah based bond) by end of 2014 was posted at Rp.57.8 trillion, an increase of 60.8% against the previous year. Until January 2015 last, realization of Government’s bond release came to Rp.41.37 based on estimated Government’s bond release (February – December 2015) based on RAPBNP 2015 amounting to Rp.266.63 trillion against Rp.308 trillion.
However corporate bonds had their outstanding value by end of 2014 at Rp.47.8 trillion, a downturn of 18.8% (y o y) against previous year. Realization of corporate bonds issuance including Conventionals and Sukuk per January 2015 was Rp.4.8 trillion with estimated value of Rp.60 trillion by end of 2015.
At the secondary market there was Government’s transaction of Rp.16 trillion per day and in corporate shares reaching Rp.700 billion per day. Downturn if BI interest, downturn of world’s oil price, the Fed’ plan to increase FFR, effort to restore economy in Europe, political turbulence at home and efforts to enhance development by the new Government were the factors that governed Indonesia’s destiny through 2015.
From the above picture there was chance that IHSG would rebound during closing session last weekend (27/2) at 5,450 – 5,500. This week, IHSG index was predicted to move in the range of 5,475 – 5,525 by positive sentiment from the Fed’s plan to increase FFR and downturn of BI rate at home last week. (SS)
Business News - March 4, 2015