7/2/2008 22:02Indonesian Stocks Called Lower On ThursdayThe Indonesian stock market finished lower by less than a point, but that was enough to end the market's modest two-day winning streak. Now analysts are saying that the Jakarta Composite Index will finish lower by a lot more than just a point when it kicks off trade on Thursday.
The outlook for Thursday's Asian trade is decidedly gloomy, thanks to new record highs in the price of crude oil and weaker than expected economic data out of the United States - which conspired to pull Wall Street sharply lower, with the Asian markets likely to do the same. Caution also reigns ahead of the U.S. jobs report and the European Central Bank's interest rate decision. The JCI finished barely lower on Wednesday as investors largely shrugged off inflation that topped 11 percent in June. The coal miners were under heavy selling pressure, although the losses were limited by bargain hunting among the recently battered financial sector. For the day, the index eased 0.33 points or 0.02 percent to close at 2,378.47 after trading between 2,367.03 and 2,393.20. Volume was 2.2 billion shares worth 3.93 trillion rupiah. There were 122 decliners and 87 gainers, with 69 stocks remaining unchanged. Among the gainers, Bank Rakyat Indonesia advanced 3.8 percent, while Bank Mandiri rose 2.8 percent, Bank Danamon gained 2.1 percent, Astra Agro edged 0.3 percent higher and Astra International added 0.5 percent. Bank Central Asia was flat, while Bumi Resources fell 1.2 percent, Bukit Asam dropped 3.2 percent and Perusahaan Gas Negara slipped 0.4 percent. Wall Street provides a sharply negative lead as the U.S. stock markets showed a substantial move to the downside over the course of the trading day after seeing modest strength in early trading on Wednesday. The downward move was due in large part to the price of oil surging up to a new record high. The price of oil saw some strength early on and accelerated to the upside following the release of the Energy Department's weekly oil inventories report, which showed a bigger than expected decrease in crude oil inventories. While the price of oil eased in early afternoon trading, it showed a notable upward move in late-day trading. After reaching a record intraday high of $144.15 a barrel, crude for August delivery ended the session up $2.60 at a record closing high of $143.57 per barrel. The weakness in the markets also came as some negative sentiment was generated by a report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) showing a bigger than expected drop in private sector employment in the month of June. ADP said that non-farm private sector employment fell by 79,000 jobs in June following a downwardly revised increase of 25,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected a decrease of 20,000 jobs compared to the increase of 40,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. The major averages saw some further downside going into the close, with both the Dow and the Nasdaq closing in bear territory, down more than 20 percent from their October highs. The Dow ended the session down 166.75 points or 1.5 percent at 11,215.51, while the Nasdaq fell 53.51 points or 2.3 percent to 2,251.46 and the S&P 500 closed down 23.39 points or 1.8 percent at 1,261.52. In economic news, the Indonesian central bank will hold its monetary policy meeting on Thursday, and then announced its decision on interest rates. In the face of soaring inflation, analysts are expecting the bank to hike rates by at least 25 basis points from the current 8.50 percent. On the corporate front, Bumi Resources has raised its offer for Australian-listed miner Herald Resources Ltd by five cents a share to A$2.85 in cash, the bidder said in a statement on Wednesday. The bid, which values herald at A$563 million, has also been extended to July 18, Bumi said. Bumi has been competing with Indonesia's PT Aneka Tambang and China's Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet Co Ltd for Herald. Until Bumi's latest move, both bidders had been offering A$2.80 per share in cash. Copyright(c) 2008 RealTimeTraders.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved