1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,668.66 points, increased 7.46 points or 0.45% with a trading value of 77 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market ended the year higher-than-expected, mostly buoyed by DELTA along with the purchasing of government funds. However, the analyst cautioned investors to watch out for a selloff at the opening next week after a series of hikes late December. Still, the January Effect and the momentum from China’s reopening could push the index higher in the first week of 2023.
2) Global health officials urge China to share more info on Covid outbreak
U.S. health officials and the WHO urged China to share more information on the spread of Covid in the country as the international community is left in the dark about the magnitude and severity of the latest wave of infection in the world’s second largest economy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern that a lack of transparency from China could lead to a slowdown in detecting new Covid variants. The CDC is worried that a new Covid variation may emerge in China due to the country’s unwillingness to provide genetic sequences required to identify such variants, despite the virus’s rapid and widespread spread.
On the same day, the health officials announced that all airline passengers entering the country from China will need to show a negative Covid test amid growing concerns that widespread transmission of the virus in China could result in new variants.
The rule takes effect on January 5 and applies to all Chinese, Hong Kong, and Macau residents over the age of two. The rule applies regardless of nationality or vaccination status.
3) Keystone pipeline to Cushing back to service, TC Energy says
TC Energy Corp said that its Keystone crude oil pipeline to Cushing has already restarted its service after a 21 day outage.
The pipeline was closed on December 7 after the spill of 14,000 barrels. That was the biggest U.S. spill in nine years, and decreased the flow of crude oil to Gulf refineries for the 622,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) pipeline.
Meanwhile, the cause of the spill remains unannounced by the company.
Under the corrective action terms of PHMSA, TC energy has to operate at 20% lower pressure once it returns to service after the spill until further approval to increase the flow.
4) South Korea’s December inflation holds at 5.0%, suggesting further tightening
On Friday, official statistics reported that South Korea’s inflation rose 5.0% from a year earlier in December, in line with market expectations and the rate seen in November. This could mean that the central bank would tighten monetary policy further in the new year.
Consumer prices rose 5% year on year, matching November’s rate, according to the statistics office on Friday. Inflation was projected to rise to 5.1% by economists.
The data comes after inflation slowed sharply in November, owing partly to the Bank of Korea’s warning about a base effect. As long as inflation remains within the 5% target range, the central bank has made it clear that it will continue down its current path of policy tightening.
The central bank said that it projected annual inflation to linger around 5% through early 2023, with both upside and downside risks.