Market Roundup 8 February 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s stock market closed at 1,670.34 points, decreased 10.15 points or 0.60% with a trading value of 60 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market traded lower in concerns of fund outflows with short positions since the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, the outlook of 2022 financial statement pointed to a decline after KCE missed expectations, resulting in traders avoiding the Thai market.

The analyst recommended avoiding big-cap stocks and investing in speculation of mid and small-cap stocks, especially dividend stocks.


2) Big oil giants record combined $200 billion of profit in 2022

The five largest oil companies in the Western continent reported a combined total profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, raising calls for the government to impose more stringent wi­ndfall taxes.

TotalEnergies, the big French oil company, announced its full year profits of $36.2 billion, which doubled last year’s total due to the surge of fossil fuel’s prices after the Russia invasion of Ukraine.

The result showed that TotalEnergies has joined with the supermajors Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Shell in recording a significant increase in annual profits. Earlier, Exxon reached a historic high of $56 billion in 2022 for the Western oil industry.

Overall, the five major companies reported combined profits of $196.3 billion last year, more than the economic output of most countries.

Biden proposed quadrupling tax increase on corporate stock buybacks to motivate long-term investments, confirming that the giant companies still make a considerable profit.


3) Thai central bank says tightening policy will be gradual, but challenges remain

Thailand’s rate committee on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to gradual and moderate monetary tightening, though it did note that this stance was subject to change if the economy and inflation outlook diverged from forecasts.

Given a tradeoff between managing inflation at a time of increased demand-side inflationary pressures amid a better economic outlook and supporting the recovery while some businesses and consumers remained weak, the minutes said monetary policy will confront greater challenges in the future.

To lower inflation, the Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s monetary policy committee unanimously raised the interest rate by a quarter point to 1.50% on Jan. 25.

Most analysts expect another rate hike when it next reviews policy on March 29.

The BOT expects the economy to rise by 3.7% this year. A boost in tourism, according to Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow last week, could push growth to 4% this year.


4) Japan’s current account surplus falls sharply in December on weakening yen and trade deficit

Japan’s current account surplus rapidly fell in December after hitting a record high in the previous month, the data from the finance ministry on Wednesday showed, highlighting the impact of continually trade deficits and the weakening yen on the country’s once-solid balance of payments.

The decline in Japanese yen last year weighed heavily on import costs, including oil and commodities that have already increased due to Russia and Ukraine’s war, creating significant pressure on Japan’s overall current and trade accounts.

Japan’s current account surplus was 33.4 billion yen ($255.51 million) in December, significantly reduced from the surplus of 1.8 trillion yen of the previous month, which was driven by revenue from investment in securities and Japan’s massive investment overseas.