1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,691.41 points, increased 0.29 points or 0.02% with a trading value of 80 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market edged slightly higher after moving largely in a negative territory throughout the day as the petrochemical stocks buoyed the market. Meanwhile, buying pressure in banking and energy stocks also support the market amid selloff in retail and financial stocks.
2) Thailand exports seen growing only 1% in 2023, the slowest rate in 3 years
The private institution forecasted on Tuesday that Thailand’s exports will grow by only 1% this year, the slowest rate of growth in three years, due to a slowdown in the economies of partner countries.
According to the UTCC Center for International Trade Studies (CITS), Thai exports in 2023 are expected to expand at the slowest rate since 2020, with a total trading value of US$295 billion.
The risk factors include a worldwide economic downturn, a worsening of the war between Russia and Ukraine, a continued spike in oil prices, inflation that is currently on the decline but remains high, rising costs, the likelihood that the US Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates, and supply chain disruptions resulting from the trade war between China and the United States over technology.
CITS also predicted that exports would fall by 3.4 – 1.8% in the first three months of this year, as the market condition is expected to linger from the fourth quarter of 2022, when orders slowed due to the impact of the downturn in trade partner countries.
3) China suspends short-term visas for South Koreans over Covid travel curbs
China announced on Tuesday it will stop issuing short-term visas to South Korean visitors entering the country for visits, tourism, business, medical treatment etc. This is the first time China has taken action in response to countries restricting Chinese tourists because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to the Chinese embassy in South Korea’s official WeChat account, the policy would be adjusted subject to the easing of South Korea’s “discriminatory entry restrictions” against China.
The announcement comes a day after Foreign Minister Qin Gang raised concerns about the restrictions in a phone call with his South Korean colleague Park Jin, said China’s foreign ministry.
4) Goldman Sachs expects eurozone to avoid recession this year
Goldman Sachs revised its outlook for the eurozone this year, anticipating the Bloc to grow by 0.6%, compared with an earlier forecast for a contraction of 0.1%, after the economy showed more resilient at the end of 2022, natural gas prices plummeted, and China lifted Covid-19 regulations sooner than expected.
Given more resilient activity, sticky core inflation, and hawkish comments, Goldman Sachs economists no longer expect a eurozone recession, and they believe the European Central Bank (ECB) will tighten much more in the coming months.
The economists also anticipated that European inflation will drop faster than expected to around 3.25% by the end of 2023, citing lower commodity costs. However, rising labor costs continue to put upward pressure on service inflation.