1) Thai stock market roundup
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,523.89 points, decreased 49.18 points or 3.13% with a trading value of 103 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market plunged sharply from the selloff of foreign investors in concerns of the domino effect from SVB and the upcoming US inflation data tonight that could result in Fed hiking rates if prices accelerated.
The analyst noted that the Thai stock market could continue to move downward tomorrow after breaking the support level of 1,550 points.
2) Market shifts toward Fed’s pausing rate hikes in March
The market is witnessing a wild swing of rate hike expectations in these past few weeks, starting before Jerome Powell’s statement to the Congress to the sentiment after he did and the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank situation.
Expectations for Fed’s rate hikes shrunk from a possibility of a 50bps rate hike in March to none as of Monday. A 25bps increase seems certain with the odds of 98.2% and a slight chance of no hike at 1.8%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
However, the momentum swung wildly in just 24 hours as the odds on Tuesday for a 25bps rate hike in March shrunk from 98.2% to 68.6% and the probability for a no hike rose to 31.4%.
On the analysis side, Morgan Stanley maintained its forecast for a 50bps hike, while JPMorgan and Evercore ISI expected 25bps hike. Goldman Sachs, Barclays, NatWest and PIMCO believed the Fed will pause the rate at 4.50-4.75%. On the flip side, Nomura expected 25bps cut and the end to Fed’s quantitative tightening.
3) Economists expect accelerating U.S. inflation in February
According to a Reuters poll, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) likely rose by 0.4% in February, following a 0.5% increase in January. It would make February’s year-over-year increase in the CPI the lowest it’s been since September 2021, at 6.0%. During the year that ended in January, the CPI increased by 6.4%.
On Tuesday (March 14), the Labor Department will release the consumer price index. Economists expect to see inflation speed up due to a rise in prices of used motor vehicles and high rental housing costs.
4) China to resume issuing all visa types for foreigners
With the Covid-19 pandemic largely contained, China’s foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that the country will resume issuing a wide range of visas to foreigners beginning on Wednesday.
The announcement detailed a number of changes, including visas issued prior to March 28, 2020 would once again be valid, and the elimination of visa requirements for those entering the mainland from Hong Kong.
The statement also stated that China will restart visa-waiver programs that allow citizens of the United States and other major countries to visit cities like Beijing for a few days. It was not obvious how exactly this would be put into effect.