Major stock markets in Asia traded in a mixed session on Friday, following a contraction in China’s factory activity in March.
As of 10:32 local time in Thailand on April 1, 2022, Nikkei dropped 0.73%, SSEC gained 0.78%, Hang Seng Index slipped 0.36%, ASX 200 increased 0.12%, while IDX Composite was flat.
Thailand’s SET Index opened at 1,695.25 points, increased slightly by 0.01 points or less than 0.00%.
China’s factory activity in March 2022 declined at the fastest pace in two years as the country is battling with the resurgence of Covid-19, while the Russia and Ukraine war has weighed on its production and demand, resulting in an economic fallout.
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.1 in March, a steepest contraction since February 2020. The result was lower than the 50.4 reading in the previous month.
Mr. Kantara Ladawan na Ayutthaya, executive director of Finansia Syrus Securities (FSS), through “Kaohoon Jor Talad Program” on April 1, 2022, stated that the lower trading volume in the Thai stock market weighs on the SET Index, holding it below the resistance level of 1,700 points. The Russia and Ukraine situation is uncertain, but if the major impact is limited to only the two countries, Mr. Ladawan said that he expects it to be positive to the market.
Meanwhile, foreign investors continued to net buy Thai stocks, which is positive to the Thai stock market, believing that the downside to the economic growth is limited due to lower-than-expected GDP cut by the Bank of Thailand due to stronger domestic consumption. While downside is limited, there is an upside to the market on the potential return of international tourists. Moreover, a surprise by the Fed if the remaining meeting has a lower-than-expected rate hike or no rate hike, could also lift the market up.