Jakarta. Indonesia's stock market halted trading for 30 minutes on Thursday, the first time since the bourse installed the 5 percent circuit breaker to slow panic selling amid worries of a widespread Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) halted trade at 3:33 p.m. local time after the index fell more than 5 percent to 4.895, its lowest level since June 2016.
The decline put the market into bearish territory after falling more than 20 percent from its most recent high this year.
The stock market has been in a downward trajectory since the beginning of this month when the country announced its first confirmed case of Covid-19, which forced the bourse to implement the circuit breaker in the first place.
Indonesia until today has announced 34 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with one death while also putting hundreds more on close surveillance.
Late on Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the pneumonia-like disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2, a family of the flu coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China, as a pandemic.
The announcement suggested containment efforts to limit the spread of the virus have failed and countries around the world now need to take more action to mitigate the pandemic.
A total of Rp 300 trillion ($20.6 billion) was wiped off the bourse on Thursday, bringing market capitalization down to Rp 5,679 trillion.
Stocks of state-owned construction companies like Wijaya Karya and Waskita Karya took a heavy beating and fell by more than 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.
Foreign investors sold off Rp 257 billion in shares, more than they bought. Their net sale has totaled Rp 7.5 trillion so far this year.
The Rupiah also declined by more than 1 percent on Thursday to end the day trading at 14,522 against the US dollar, according to Bloomberg's spot market data.
There was selling off also in the bond market. The government's 10-year bond's yield rose to 7.3523 percent from 7.1762 yesterday. The yield moves inversely to its price.