Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) hit yet another circuit breaker on Monday afternoon, with trading temporarily halted for the fifth time this month and prices hitting their lowest levels in eight years as Indonesia recorded more COVID-19 cases.
Trading was halted for 30 minutes at 2:52 p.m. on Monday as the benchmark JCI, the main gauge at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), fell by 5 percent to 3,985, the lowest level since June 2012.
IDX trading director Laksono Widodo told the press via text message that the value of trading at the halt amounted to Rp 3.89 trillion (US$234.18 million). Upon the market reopening, selling pressure eased slightly, with the JCI ending Monday's trading down 4.9 percent to 3,989.
During the day, 6.77 billion shares were traded worth Rp 5.61 trillion. Foreign investors at the end of the trading session recorded Rp 36.65 billion in net buys after booking Rp 4.51 billion net sells by the time trading was halted.
Some 327 stocks were in the red when trading was temporarily frozen as many stocks such as cement producer PT Indocement Tunggal Prakasa (INTP), which dropped by 6.97 percent, fell dramatically. Food manufacturer PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur (ICBP) and its parent company PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF) were down by 6.96 percent.
However, 69 other companies still managed to record gains amid the JCI's plunge, led by shipping company PT Temas (TMAS), which soared by 31.67 percent, as well as state-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Kimia Farma (KAEF), which jumped by 23.13 percent and PT Indofarma, which was up by 21.24 percent when trading was halted.
Jasa Utama Capital analyst Chris Apriliony told The Jakarta Post that the halt was the new normal for the JCI as market players continued to dump their shares amid a time of crisis caused by concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indonesia recorded 579 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, and 49 deaths. Thirty patients have recovered. The spike in cases and fatalities have resulted in cities declaring emergency conditions, including the hardest hit region, the capital city Jakarta. Globally, the pneumonia-like illness has infected more than 342,000 people with more than 14,000 deaths.
Despite the steep decline, Panin Sekuritas analyst William Hartanto said the bourse would not need to suspend trading for a few days.
"Suspending trading would not calm the market because if market players decided to continue selling their shares, they will continue selling when the market reopens," he said.
Meanwhile, Anugerah Mega Investama analyst Hans Kwee told the Post last week that the bourse should consider suspending trading for a few days when the JCI hits around the 3,000 level or declines by more than 50 percent of its value.