Tue, 30 May 2000

JSX composite index hits one-year low

JAKARTA (JP): The Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) Composite Index dove on Monday to close at its lowest level since April, last year due to reports of bombings in Medan.

Securities analysts said that major foreign and local investors dumped their stocks on fears that the bombings of a church and restaurant in the provincial capital of North Sumatra on Sunday and Monday would trigger more chaos.

The Composite Index closed at 461.39, losing 20.69 or 4.3 percent from 482.07 last Friday. Losers beat gainers 134 to nine with 45 stocks being unchanged.

However trading volume was rather thin where 273 million shares were changing hands, valued at some Rp 350 billion.

Juni Hendry of Exim Securities said stocks across the board were dumped by investors as they lost faith in what was going to happen to the local market.

"There are great market disappointments to what has developed recently in the domestic political and security conditions," he said.

Mirroring the JSX, the rupiah ended weaker on the same fear of security instability, which had caused many offshore participants to buy dollars.

After reaching its intraday low of Rp 8,667 per dollar, the local currency closed down at Rp 8,570 on Monday as compared to Rp 8,495 last Friday.

"We have a real bad outlook for the rupiah as there is steady demand for the dollar and an unstable domestic condition," a currency dealer at Bank Bali said.

Efforts to undermine the current government would get even stronger as time moves closer to President Abdurrahman Wahid's accountability speech before the People's Consultative Assembly, slanted for August, according to the dealer.(udi)