Moro's order said that in view of Lula's stature as a former president, he would have "the opportunity to present himself voluntarily" to police in the city of Curitiba, where the "Car Wash" probe is based, by 5:00 pm (2000 GMT) today.
The director of Fitch Ratings in Brazil said in a Thursday note that a federal judge's order that former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva be jailed within 24 hours added more chaos to an already hectic political scenario.
"We consider this to be a political imprisonment, an imprisonment that will expose Brazil before the world", said Gleisi Hoffmann, chairwoman of the Workers' Party. A lower court appeal against the conviction was rejected this January.
The current president, Michel Temer, avoided standing trial before the supreme court a year ago when allies in congress shielded him from charges of corruption, obstructing justice and links to organised crime.
Asked if he would comply, the veteran leftist leader, who ruled from 2003-2011 and is seeking a third term in October, said only that he would act on his lawyers' advice, CBN reported.
"Why are they in a rush to arrest him?" said former president Dilma Rousseff, who succeeded Da Silva and in 2016 was impeached and removed from office.
Last year, Moro convicted Lula for accepting perks from a major construction firm that won lucrative government contracts from Petrobras, including the use of a luxury beachside apartment.
Lula faces 12 years behind bars over the corruption case that he's described as a political witch hunt.
He left office with sky-high approval of 83 percent and was called "the most popular politician on Earth" by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Likewise polls also show that Lula who had world record breaking support ratings when he stepped down from office in 2011, now also has a very significant rejection percentage, which questions how high and where, his support ceiling really stands. Currently, hard-right former army officer JairBolsonaro, who openly praises Brazil's 1964-1985 dictatorship, is in second place.
In a sign of possible friction on the horizon, within minutes after Moro's arrest warrant, a fight broke out in front of the Lula Institute in Sao Paulo between hecklers and supporters of Da Silva.
Earlier on Thursday, the head of the Workers' Party insisted that Da Silva, 72, would be the party's candidate in October. It was expected to deny da Silva's candidacy under Brazil's "clean slate" law, which disqualifies people who have had criminal convictions upheld.
But it quickly ballooned into an investigation of systemic corruption, involving top business executives and more than 80 politicians, including Lula. In August, the country's top electoral court makes final decisions about candidacies.
Sen. Lindbergh Farias from the Workers' Party said vigils would be organized nationwide beginning on Friday.
Couto can not see the once-powerful Workers Party having a competitive candidate until it makes a public apology for getting caught up in the systemic corruption among Brazil's traditional political class.