Market Roundup 3 February 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,688.36 points, increased 5.78 points or 0.34% with a trading value of 58 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market moved in sideways trend in the same direction as regional markets, boosted by buying pressure in DELTA, retail and financial stocks. However, the market was pressured by the energy sector as well as fund outflows.

The analyst expected the SET Index next week to move with limited upside as investors will look forward to the earnings season.


2) BOE’s chief economist addresses importance to not raise rates too high

Huw Pill, Chief Economist at the Bank of England (BOE), on Friday addressed the situation of the central bank regarding the rate hikes saying that it is important not to increase borrowing costs too high. The statement came a day after the BOE signaled its intent to pause the hike of interest rates that started in December 2021 soon.

“We have to recognise that we have done a lot with monetary policy already,” Pill said at Times Radio.

Pill also said, “Interest rates have risen by almost 400 basis points over a little more than a year, and, given the lags in the transmission of monetary policy, there’s quite a lot of the effects of those raises in interest rates still to come through”.


3) Japan final January services PMI increases to 3-month high

The services sector in Japan increased at its fastest rate in three months in January, but rising inflation and employment trends indicate challenges ahead, according to a business survey on Friday, as officials bet on the country’s economic reopening to boost demand.

The final au Jibun Bank Japan Services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) increased in January to a seasonally adjusted 52.3 from 51.1 in December, the fastest rate since October.

The actual number was below the flash reading of 52.4, but it nevertheless remained above the 50-mark that distinguishes growth from contraction for the fifth month running.


4) China to fully resume travel with Hong Kong and Macau from February 6

The Chinese government announced on Friday that all border controls between the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau would be fully reopened as of February 6. This followed the removal of quotas and the requirement that all travelers take the Covid-19 test.

China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in an online statement that group tours between the mainland and its two special administrative regions would resume and the number of customs checkpoints open would return to pre-pandemic levels.

After China reopened its borders to the world on January 8, travelers between the mainland and Hong Kong were still subject to a quota system and the requirement that they undergo Covid-19 testing.

The news from China came just one day after Hong Kong launched a promotion campaign, including 500,000 free flights, to woo visitors, entrepreneurs, and investors back to the financial hub following more than three years of stringent Covid-19 restrictions.