1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,661.20 points, increased 13.92 points or 0.84% with a trading value of 49 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market closed higher following speculative buy even though trading volume remained weak. Meanwhile, positive sentiment from the tourism sector continued to buoy the economic outlook. The analyst expected SET Index tomorrow to move in sideways to sideways-up trend, giving a support level at 1,650 points and resistance level at 1,670 points.
2) Thailand reports current account deficit in November as exports fall, while finance minister looks forward to Chinese tourists return
The central bank of Thailand said on Thursday that the country’s current account deficit for November was US$0.4 billion, down from the US$0.6 billion surplus reported for October.
Exports fell 5.5% year on year in November, while imports increased 8.2% over the previous year, resulting in a trade surplus of US$0.5 billion for the month, according to a statement from the Bank of Thailand (BOT).
The central bank projects 3.2% growth in the GDP this year and 3.7% growth in 2023, due to a rebound in private consumption and tourism.
Meanwhile, the finance minister said that China reopening their borders could drive the tourism sector, Thailand’s key economic growth contributor. Currently, the sector has nearly a third of roughly 40 million of foreign arrivals compared to pre-covid level in 2019.
The minister noted that the Thai economy could accelerate to 3.8% next year if Chinese tourists return, which would offset its weak exports amid slowing demand internationally.
In addition, he expected 3.1-3.2% growth this year, an increase from 1.5% increase last year.
3) UK government says no plan to reintroduce Covid-19 testing for visitors from China
The British government said on Thursday that it has no plans to reintroduce Covid-19 testing for visitors, despite a growing number of countries mandating tests for travelers from China.
Earlier on Thursday, local media outlet Telegraph reported that the Department for Transport, the Home Office, and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are likely to decide whether the UK should follow the United States and Italy in putting Covid restrictions on visitors from China.
The restrictions were “not something we are looking at,” the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said on Wednesday, according to the report.
4) Chinese are still hesitating to spend despite Covid control being lfted
Most Chinese people, more than 90% of the surveyed, are avoiding going out and around 60% are concerned that it is uncomfortable going out into the public for the next few months despite a relaxation of Covid-related restrictions.
After months of increasingly strictest measures to control Covid-19 outbreaks, China abruptly ended its restrictions in early December, at the same time infections started to surge in Beijing and other cities later.
Many people went out to malls and attractions in Beijing over the weekend, but not all stores had reopened yet. The venues were mostly crowded but not as crowded as pre-pandemic level.
The study indicated that 62% of locals are interested in saving rather than spending or investing. The figure was up from 58% earlier this year.