1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,671.34 points, decreased 10.77 points or 0.64% with a trading value of 72 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market edged lower as investors made a selloff to lower the risks before 4Q earnings results that many expected to be lower. A plunge in SCC’s earnings caused investors to be concerned over other energy stocks.
The analyst expected the Thai market to move narrowly, while investors continue to monitor earnings and also the Fed’s meeting next week.
2) Philippines Q4 GDP expands 7.2%, beating expectations
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) at an annual rate of 7.2% in the fourth quarter, surpassing markets’ expectations.
A Reuters poll of economists predicted a 6.5% annual GDP growth for the final three months of 2022. In the third quarter, expansion was 7.6%.
Secretary of Economic Planning Arsenio Balisacan said that the strong performance in the fourth quarter was due to pent-up demand that was released once the government reopened the economic activity entirely and pandemic curbs were lifted.
He stated that China’s reopening would be a boost to the Philippine economy, although protecting Filipinos’ purchasing power and maintaining food security would remain government priority.
Annual growth in 2022 was 7.6%, which was above the government’s target range of 6.5 to 7.5% and higher than the 5.7% growth seen the year before.
The official GDP growth target for 2023 has been set at between 6% and 7%.
3) Global smartphone shipments fall as consumer demand cools
Worldwide phone shipments fell to a quarterly record low, as consumer demand remained cool, which affected South Korea and Vietnam as the manufacturing hubs.
In the December quarter, shipments shrank 18.3% compared with a year before to only 300 million units, according to Massachusetts-based IDC. For this year, shipments shrank 11.3%, and it was the lowest total in a decade.
The chaos at Apple’s main factory in China may have halted shipments this quarter.
As Samsung Electronics operated factories in South Korea and Vietnam, smartphone shipment is among a key source of income for both countries. Last quarter, Samsung posted the profit fall in a decade due to the lower demand of semiconductors.
Korea’s smartphone shipment is expected to increase by 0.7% this year, after falling by 21.0% last year.
4) Germany’s economic minister expects inflation to ease throughout 2023
Germany’s inflation remained high from the start of 2023, then decreased over the course of 2023, according to the announcement on Thursday by Robert Habeck, Economy Minister of Germany.
Habeck in his address to the Bundestag stated that Germany has broken the inflation trends.
In 2023, inflation is seen at 6% as energy prices started to drop following the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war.
In the economic report of 2023, Habeck said the numbers were not that good, but better than months ago that raised concerns. The GDP is expected to increase by 0.2% this year, up from 0.4% in the previous fall forecast.
Inflation would be lower in 2024 than it is now, and growth would accelerate, he added.