The Unexpected Top Stock Market in Asia This Week Is Indonesia

(Bloomberg) -- In a week that has been brutal for global stock markets, Indonesia was among the few lucky ones.

Thanks to newly listed food company PT Garudafood Putra Putri Jaya and shares linked to domestic consumption -- think cement maker PT Holcim Indonesia -- the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index is heading for a 0.3 percent increase this week, the only gainer among major regional gauges. That compares with plunges of more than 3 percent for the MSCI Asia Pacific Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Garudafood Putra Putri Jaya has more than doubled since listing on Tuesday, while Holcim Indonesia has jumped 40 percent this week. Technology and export-driven companies bore the brunt of the sell-off on Thursday, the worst day since February for global stocks.

While financial shares pushed the Indonesian benchmark gauge as much as 1.2 percent higher on Friday -- up for a fourth day this week -- it’s still down 9.5 percent this year as foreigners have withdrawn more than $4 billion from the market. Concerns about the weakening rupiah, the second-worst performing currency in Asia in 2018, and a widening current-account deficit have dented investors’ appetite for the nation’s assets.

“Uncertainties are likely to remain in the pipeline,” said Taye Shim, the head of capital markets at PT Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia. “Thus we would be careful in judging that we are nearing the end of the sell-off.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.