JCI Falls as End of US Quantitative Easing Looms

By Francezka Nangoy on 10:59 am Jul 26, 2013
Category Business, Markets

Indonesia’s benchmark stock index declined for the second day on Thursday as investors unloaded their assets in the domestic market in anticipation of a US stimulus acceleration.

The Jakarta Composite Index lost 43.99 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 4,674.12, extending its 1 percent decline a day earlier. Decliners outnumber gainers by 140 to 91.

About 3.34 billion shares, worth Rp 4.50 trillion ($439 million), changed hands on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. Foreign investors contributed 41 percent of the trading for the day, but sold Rp 221 billion more in shares than they bought.

Foreign investors ended two days of net buying on remaining concerns of quantitative easing withdrawal as economic data in the US continues to improve.

The number of people in the US claiming unemployment benefits fell by 89,000 in the week, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists before the official data was released late on Thursday. A report on Wednesday showed that new home sales in the country rose more than forecast in June to a five-year high.

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told US Congress last week that any reduction in stimulus would depend on the economy’s performance.

The agribusiness sector lost 2.1 percent led by Astra Agro Lestari, the plantation unit of Astra International.

Astra Agro lost 4.5 percent to Rp 16,000 ($1.60). The company said it plans to acquire more plantation areas which may include plantations owned by Barkie Sumatera Plantation.

The financial sector dropped 1.3 percent as investors cashed in their gains from banking stocks.

The yield of Indonesia’s 10-year government bond rose to 7.83 percent on Thursday from 7.60 percent a day before, data from Indonesia Bond Pricing Agency showed.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg