Weekly Report 10 December 2007

11 12 2007

Weekly Outlook : The central bank’s decision to cut interest rates provides the impetus for further gains in share prices this week as the year-end approaches. As we had earlier noted, share prices have risen in every December in the last six years – and this year looks like being no exception. And expectations of a cut in interest rates in the US should also add to the positive market sentiment. Thus, against this backdrop, sentiment on the domestic bourse should remain upbeat this week with the JCI heading toward the 2,800 level.

Stocks listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, formed by a merger of the Jakarta and Surabaya bourses, rose to new highs last week. The main index even broke through the 2,800 level at one point, although shares later gave up some of their gains on profit taking. Over the week, the index closed 90.62 points higher at 2,778.95. The gains in stock prices were supported by a number of factors. First of all was the unexpected move by the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate from 8.25% to 8%. This move reassures investors that inflationary pressures are not as strong as earlier feared despite the high oil prices, i.e. the longer-term inflation rate is still benign. On the domestic front, the issue concerning government plans to rein in fuel subsidies remained in the limelight. Yet hopes that the oil price was on the way down – it’ s fallen by more than 13 percent from its recent high – suggest that the government may not have to implement such plans. And even if they do, the idea of requiring private motorists to use nonsubsidized fuel is now becoming increasingly more accepted since the less well off – such as those who use motorcycles or public transport – would not be affected. Doubts, however, remain over implementation. Read the rest of this entry »