1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,663.86 points, decreased 9.39 points or 0.56% with a trading value of 85 billion baht. The analyst stated that the decline in Thai stock market was mainly due to the selloff in DELTA and the buying pressure from other big-cap stocks could not offset this pressure. Meanwhile, the market was overbought from a series of gains in recent days and still lacked a positive driver.
2) Thailand confirms no Covid test required for visitors from China
Thai authorities said Thursday that they will not impose any special measures towards travelers from China, which means that all arrivals from the world’s most populous country will be allowed to enter the kingdom without having to undergo pre-departure Covid testing.
China has seen a spike in Covid-19 infections, and its hospitals and crematoriums have been overrun since Beijing eased restrictions last month. As concerns about the increase in cases grew, several countries, including the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, imposed new rules requiring passengers from China to show negative Covid tests.
However, Thai authorities stated that all countries should be treated equally.
Thailand continues to require that all arrivals be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before entering the country, while encouraging Thai citizens to take the fourth dose of vaccination.
3) China’s Caixin PMI improves in December but still in contraction zone
In December, the Caixin China general services purchasing manager’s index showed some relief for the industry, with a score of 48, though still in contraction zone.
After hitting a six-month low of 46.7 the month before, the print improved in the most recent report.
The 50-point threshold divides expansion from recession. The PMI index is measured on a monthly basis and represents growth or decline from the previous month.
Caixin Insight Group’s senior economist Wang Zhe said, “Optimism improved significantly,” and the indicator for forecasts of future activity increased by about 4 points from a month before.
4) Thailand’s 2022 inflation hits 24-year high, up 6.08% YoY
Thailand’s yearly inflation rate rose to 5.89% in December, in line with analysts expectations, according to commerce ministry data released on Thursday.
The rate increased marginally from 5.55% in November. Monthly inflation fell by 0.06% in December, marking the second month of slowing.
Thailand’s inflation rate for the entire year was 6.08%, a 24-year high, which was within the Ministry of Commerce’s target range.
Meanwhile, the Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December rose 3.23% year-on-year, compared to a 3.22% increase in the previous month.
In 2023, commerce officials expect headline inflation to slow to 2% to 3%, supported by a high base and a global slowdown.
The index, however, is set to remain high in the first quarter this year due to a low base in the same period last year, but should not top 5%, said senior commerce ministry official Poonpong Naiyanapakorn.