United States (US) stock markets were muted ahead of the by the Federal Reserves decision today, even most of them believed no changes on the monetary policies - Photo by Pixabay

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) –  Good Morning! United States (US)’ Wall Street closed at its lows of the session on Thursday, with the Dow posting a whopping 10 percent drop to 2,352, rivaled only by the crashes of 1929 and 1987. It worst one-day percentage drop since Black Monday when it lost 22.6 percent amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The other indices, S&P 500 also dropped 9.5 percent and the Nasdaq slumped 9.4 percent. The rout for the second-straight day comes after the New York Federal Reserve surprised by pumping huge amounts of cash into the banking system. After adding US$500 billion on Thursday, it will inject another $1 trillion today in an effort to stop borrowing costs from rising.

The situation also hampered Asia’ stock markets. Australia’ benchmark fell as much as 7 percent, New Zealand’ index down more than 8 percent, Japan’ Nikkei down 7 percent, South Korea’ Kosdaq dropper 8 percent, and Indonesia’ Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) plunge 5 percent.

Currency trading also erratic amid poor liquidity and a rush to secure financing in dollars. The plunges, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, gathered pace after US President Donald Trump spooked to ban travel from Europe and after the European Central Bank disappointed markets by holding back on rate cuts.

The COVID-19 has killed nearly 5,000 people, with infections topping 133,000 worldwide. As for Italy, it still recorded the biggest increase in the number of fatalities after China. The death toll in Italy increased to 189 people, bringing the total number of deaths in this country to 1,016 by Friday morning.

A significant increase in the number of fatalities was also experienced in Iran by 75 people with 10,075 cases, Spain 86 people, and South Korea and France, which respectively recorded a total of 66 and 61 people.

While, the number of new cases in China has continued to decline. Only a total of six new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours with a total of cases reaching 80,796. Iran was asked the International Monetary Fund for US$5 billion of financing for its efforts to fight a major outbreak of the virus.

From a total of 134,036 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, 68,927 patients were declared successful. As many as 60,630 people are still infected, with 5,994 of them in serious or critical conditions.

In Europe, France has ordered the closure of schools and universities starting early next week to slow the spread of the corona virus. President Emmanuel Macron called this outbreak the worst health crisis in the last century.

In Asia, finance ministers and central bank governors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Vietnam later this month, after initially weighing a proposal to postpone the summit due to the coronavirus. Japan, South Korea and China, had been expected also attend the meeting.

Kazakhstan’ energy minister Nurlan Nogaev said on Thursday, the Joint Technical Committee of oil producers, OPEC, has scheduled to hold a teleconference on March 18 to discusses the oil market. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said it was a reasonable decision in the circumstances.

In Indonesia, the government will announced the second stimulus to avoid the COVID-19 impact to the domestic economy. While, Indonesia Stock Exchange changes the limitation of auto rejection after the JCI plunge 5 percent on Thursday to 4,895 from prior day.

Yesterday, the Rupiah corrected 0.15 percent to 14,374 per US Dollar, the second worst performance among other Asian currencies. During the year, the local currency has corrected 3.5 percent, also the second worst year to date performance among Asian currencies, below the Baht which dropped 5.5 percent.

Today, the Rupiah is estimated to strengthen in the range of 14,330 – 14,350 against the American Dollar. Also JCI is likely to strengthen again in the short term with the range 4,780 – 5,100.

The analysts recommended PT Wijaya Karya Tbk (IDX: WIKA), PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk (IDX: AALI), PT XL Axiata Tbk (IDX: EXCL), PT Bank Tabungan Negara Tbk (IDX: BBTN), PT Perusahaan Gas Negara Tbk (IDX: PGAS), PT Jasa Marga Tbk (IDX: JSMR), PT Adhi Karya Tbk (IDX: ADHI), PT PP Tbk (IDX: PTPP), PT Waskita Karya Tbk (IDX: WSKT), and PT Rukun Raharja Tbk (IDX: RAJA) stocks to be watch for today.