1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,643.16 points, increased 16.36 points or 1.01% with a trading value of 53 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market closed higher along with other regional markets in response to the reopening in China next year, which is faster-than-expected, resulting in a surge in reopening stocks. Meanwhile, petrochemical stocks also ended the day higher in response to potential higher demand from China reopening.
2) Thailand’s exports fall for second-straight month over global slowdown
Thailand’s exports fell for the second month in a row in November, and by more than expected, due to a worldwide slowdown and China’s trade restrictions, according to the commerce ministry on Tuesday.
Although exports have been a major contributor to Thailand’s economic growth, they fell 6.0% year-over-year in November, worse than the predicted drop of 5.2% year-over-year in a Reuters poll. That followed a decrease of 4.4% in October.
In November, exports to the United States were up 1.2% on a yearly basis, while exports to Southeast Asia were down 9.5%. In comparison to the previous year, exports to China fell by 9.9%.
The first eleven months of 2022 saw an increase in exports of 7.6% year over year, exceeding the ministry’s target of a 4% increase in exports for the entire year.
Meanwhile, imports in November climbed 5.6% from a year earlier, above expectations of a 0.8% drop.
Thailand recorded a trade deficit of $1.34 billion in November, versus a forecast deficit of $200 million.
3) Thai central bank affirms inflation target at 1-3% next year
Thailand’s cabinet acknowledged the Bank of Thailand’s headline inflation target of 1% to 3% for 2023, unchanged from this year, government spokesperson Traisuree Traisoranakul told reporters.
Meanwhile, headline inflation stood at 5.55% in November, which was still higher than the bank’s target range. The market implies that this is the signal that the central bank will continue to raise its key interest rate to combat rising price pressures.
4) Chinese tourists eye Thailand among top destinations after major shifts in Covid policy
Travel enthusiasts in China flooded booking websites for overseas travel within hours after the government announced the end of quarantine measures for inbound travellers starting from January 8 next year.
According to Trip.com Group, searches for travel abroad skyrocketed to a three-year high within half an hour after the announcement of policy changes by the Chinese government.
The travel company said that Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the U.K. are among the top 10 destinations outside mainland China as search volume continues to grow at a fast pace.
China announced late Monday that beginning January 8, international tourists will no longer be required to undergo quarantine upon arrival on the mainland.
This change is in response to this month’s sudden loosening of domestic Covid restrictions. These revisions roll back the majority of the strictest regulations that China’s zero-Covid policy had in place for the past three years.
5) Japan to tighten border for travellers from China
Japan will tighten its border controls for travelers from China beginning December 30 in response to an increase in Covid-19 infections, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Tuesday. Everyone arriving from China or having visited mainland China within the past seven days will need to take a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival.
Travelers from China who test positive will be quarantined for seven days, said Kishida.