1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,685.44 points, increased 4.40 points or 0.26% with a trading value of 61 billion baht. The analyst noted that the Thai stock market moved in both negative and positive territory, while speculated that investors could take profit after the all banking results come out later this week. The analyst estimated SET Index to lack directions until the Fed’s meeting.
2) Japanese yen fall sharply as BoJ keep rates unchanged
The Japanese yen fell sharply on Wednesday as the central bank kept interest rates ultra-low, surprising investors who had thought the bank would alter its yield curve control policy further.
On Wednesday, the value of the Japanese yen decreased by over 2.0% against the US dollar to 131.45 per dollar. This was the largest one-day percentage drop since June.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-low interest rates at -0.10%, including the 0.5% cap on the yield on 10-year bonds.
3) China’s property sector falls 5.1%, lowest in nearly half a century
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported on Wednesday that China’s property sector shrinked down 5.1% in 2022 from the previous year, pushing more pressure on policymakers to recover the sluggish in 2023.
In the fourth quarter, the value added in the industry fell 7.2% compared with the previous year, following a 4.2% contraction shown in the third quarter, according to NBS data; the data suggested that the real estate market was a major drag on the economy last year.
In 2022, China’s economy shrank to the lowest rate in nearly half a century, caused by Covid-19 outbreak and pandemic controls. Although there was an effort to invest in real estate, it still dropped 10.0% from last year.
4) IEA sees China’s reopening to lift oil demand
The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated on Wednesday that the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in China is expected to push global oil demand to a new record high this year, while price cap sanctions against Russia could reduce supply.
According to the Paris-based energy watchdog’s monthly oil report, “two wild cards dominate the 2023 oil market outlook: Russia and China.”
“Russian supply slows under the full impact of sanctions (while) China will drive nearly half this global demand growth even as the shape and speed of its reopening remains uncertain.”
In the OECD developed countries, weak industrial activity and warm weather contributed to a drop of about a million barrels per day in oil consumption in the fourth quarter of 2022.
While Europe and the United States may experience mild recessions, China’s anticipated reopening will likely spur economic growth in neighboring Asian countries and push China beyond India as the world’s fastest-growing oil consumer.