Asian stocks are again in deep red territory on Thursday (14/01), led by Chinese shares (which are on track to enter a bear market) as well as Japanese shares. It means that the rebound that had occurred earlier this week - caused by positive export data from China - was short-lived. The continued slide of oil prices (below USD $30 per barrel) and turmoil in China cause money to flow away from equity and fragile emerging market currencies.
China's Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.48 percent at 09:11 am local Jakarta time on Thursday (14/01) towards its lowest level since August 2015, implying that government efforts to boost the local stock market have failed as investors lack confidence in China's market. It also means that China's market is currently near bear territory (a near-20 percent decline from the recent high on 22 December 2015).
Japan's Nikkei 225 Index is down 3.65 percent due to massive selling in the commodities and machinery sectors. Japan's core machinery orders (a key indicator of capital spending) declined 14.4 percent in November from the previous month. Today's Japan's shares are tumbling the most since September 2015.
Another major concern is crude oil prices falling below USD $30 per barrel (at 12-year lows), signalling that global economic growth is weak. Besides weak demand, oil prices are also tumbling due to continued high output in the USA and in OPEC member countries as well as the looming return of Iran to the export market.
Overnight, losses on Wall Street were big. US stocks tumbled due to heavy selling of energy and consumer stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index is now down 10 percent from its November peak. On Wednesday (13/01) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.2 percent, the S&P 500 index lost 2.5 percent, while the Nasdaq composite shed 3.4 percent.
Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index was down 0.83 percent to 4,499.70 points by 09:25 am local Jakarta time. Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah had depreciated 0.24 percent to IDR 13,869 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index).
Later today, Bank Indonesia will announce the January benchmark interest rate (BI rate). Amid heavy volatility the central bank is expected to keep the rate at 7.50 percent. The bank is particularly eager to safeguard rupiah stability amid the difficult macroeconomic environment by maintaining a relatively tight monetary stance.