All three Wall Street indexes closed bearish between 1.7%-2.1%, pulled lower by bank stocks and jitters ahead of Friday’s employment report. At the same time, Treasury yields started to pull back in response to Initial Jobless Claims data that rose by 11% to 211K, higher than expected & previous week—the highest level in five months. The latest updates brought some relief that the Federal Reserve’s restrictive monetary policy began to pay off; causing the USD to pull back from a three month high and gold prices to rise. US Nonfarm Payroll data that is eagerly awaited by the market participants later tonight at around 20:30 GMT is expected to spawn a February US employment figure of 205K, a sharp deceleration from January’s report of 517K. At the same time, the unemployment rate held firm at 3.4%. No less important economic data from Japan will also commence this morning, namely: Household Spending (Jan.), PPI (Feb.), and Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision; then followed by the release of the UK’s monthly GDP (Jan.) as well as their Manufacturing Production and Trade Balance (both for Jan.), followed by the German CPI (Feb.), which is predicted to hover around 8.7% YoY.

On the other hand, JCI managed to pocket an increase of 23.42 points/0.35% to the 6799.8 level after previously trying the High level of 6824.7, which is the gathering point of MA10 & MA50 Resistance. The strengthening of the index, which seemed to be still cautious, was apparently supported by foreign buying interest which returned to IDR 611.02 billion. Indonesia’s retail sales data fell 0.6% YoY (Jan.), reversing 0.7% growth a month earlier. This is the first decline since September 2021, and the weakening purchasing power is believed to be the result of high borrowing costs. The Inflation rate in China fell lower than expected to 1% (Feb.), also lower than 2.1% in January. This is the lowest reading since Feb 2022, indicating a sharp decline in the prices of food & non-food items as people remain cautious although the zero-covid policy has been lifted. Given the rolling market sentiment, NHKSI RESEARCH advises Indonesian capital market investors/traders to maintain a Hold stance & delay Average Up at the end of this week; while awaiting the release of the important US Nonfarm Payroll & Unemployment Rate data later tonight.

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