Market Roundup 16 February 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,658.29 points, increased 10.90 points or 0.66% with a trading value of 63 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market edged higher following positive sessions in the region after better-than-expected retail data in the U.S. and also buoyed by DELTA, CBG, OSP, BH and BDMS. The analyst recommended investors to monitor Thai GDP data tomorrow.


2) China expects solar power capacity to hit record growth in 2023

China is expected to add 95 to 120 gigawatts (GW) of solar power in 2023, representing an increase by as much as 30%, according to the solar industry group on Thursday. This would be the biggest annual capacity added.

China, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar products and solar power generators, brought 87.41 GW of solar power into operation in 2022, bringing the total installed capacity to 392.61 GW.


3) China’s air passenger traffic recovers to 70% of capacity

After nearly three years of Covid restrictions, travel in China is picking up again, and air passenger traffic is back to 70% of its pre-pandemic level as people return to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holidays.

China Southern Airlines, one of China’s three largest airlines, saw a 72.7% increase in January passenger loads, according to exchange filings. That’s a significant increase from the 63% recorded one year ago. During the same time period, Air China’s passenger load factor was 69.9%, while China Eastern Airlines’ was 68.1%.

The increase can be attributed to, after nearly three years of Covid restrictions, people were finally able to travel back to their hometowns to spend the Chinese New Year with their families.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) official statement last month, China anticipates a 15%-25% increase in international flights by the end of March, compared to the levels seen before the outbreak.


4) Europe seeks digital currency to counter U.S. and Chinese tech dominance

The European Central Bank is building a digital currency to buffer the region from conflicts with China and the United States.

Back in October of 2021, the central bank began looking into the potential of a digital Euro. It will be up to European leaders this fall to determine whether the ECB should proceed with testing the necessary technological arrangements for Europeans to spend digital euros.

The central bank is concerned that without a digital euro, the Eurozone will be economically and strategically trapped between the dominant U.S. technology firms and the dominant Chinese payment systems. Guido Zimmermann, senior economist at German bank LBBW, told CNBC on Wednesday that Europe is now suffering from a lack of digital platforms.