Tumbling Oil prices

Crude oil prices tumbled 31.5 percent (the biggest slide since 1991) to nearly USD $30 per barrel in early trading on Monday, before somewhat recovering toward USD $37 per barrel during the day. The key factor that causes diving oil prices is the failure of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last week to clinch a deal with its allies - including Russia - to cut crude output further in an effort to boost prices.

Russia refused to cut output causing Saudi Arabia - the world’s largest oil exporter - to slash its prices for April, while announcing plans to boost oil output above 10 million barrels per day (bpd) next month. Saudi Arabia, which currently produces 9.7 million bpd, has an installed production capacity of 12.5 million bpd.

Deteriorating Coronavirus Outbreak

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases surged above 110,000 worldwide as the outbreak spread to more countries. Italy in fact took drastic measures by sealing off large parts in the north of the country, effectively quarantining 16 million people, including financial capital Milan.

Asian Markets after Monday's Trading Day (09.03.2020):

Indonesian Rupiah Under Pressure

Meanwhile, emerging market currencies also had a rough day on Monday, particularly due to the massive drop in oil prices. The Indonesian rupiah weakened 1.05 percent against the US dollar to USD $14,392, and 2.28 percent versus the euro (to EUR 16,412). Rupiah weakness makes it difficult for Bank Indonesia to cut its benchmark interest rate further (in an effort to boost economic growth). While a sudden (half percentage point) Federal Reserve rate cut last week seemed to have opened up possibilities for Bank Indonesia to engage in monetary easing, chances have waned significantly now we entered a oil war, while the new coronavirus outbreak may deteriorate in the days and weeks ahead.

Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar:

| Source: Bank Indonesia

Indonesian Rupiah versus Euro:

| Source: Bank Indonesia