Market Roundup 19 April 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,580.73 points, decreased 13.12 points or 0.82% with a trading value of 55 billion baht. The analyst stated that the selloff in mid and big-cap stocks, especially the banking sector, pressured the market.

The market also lacked positive drivers as well as foreign fund flows as investors are waiting to see the Fed’s move on policy rates.

The analyst expected the SET Index to make a technical rebound tomorrow after several declines in recent days.


2) UK inflation remains in double-digit level amid high energy and food prices

Inflation in the United Kingdom for March surprised the market by maintaining above a double-digit level amid soaring food and energy bills.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the consumer price index in the U.K. rose by 10.1%, which is higher than a consensus from Reuters poll for a 9.8% rise.

The reading is slightly lower than a 10.4% increase in February and a 41-year high of 11.1% in October last year.

Inflation rose 0.8% on a monthly basis, higher than Reuters poll of 0.5%, but lower than 1.1% in February.

The core CPIH annual inflation, which excludes volatile food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices, rose 5.7% on an annualised basis, unchanged from February.

The Bank of England decided to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.25% in March. The market also expects another quarter-point hike in the meeting next month.


3) JPMorgan and Citi raise 2023 China economy forecasts

Analysts at JPMorgan and Citi upgraded their full-year forecasts for China’s economy after the country reported a better-than-expected growth of 4.5% in the first quarter.

JPMorgan increased its growth forecast for China in 2023 from 6% to 6.4%, citing the most recent quarterly report as a sign of continued expansion.

China’s recovery “will likely continue in the near term” before its economic momentum starts reducing in the second half of the year, according to JPMorgan’s senior China economist Haibin Zhu in a note published on Tuesday.

Also, Citi revised its prediction from 5.7% to 6.1%, stating that the Chinese economy is “well on track on its post-Covid recovery led by consumption and services.”

The company also noted that the first quarter’s stronger-than-expected results signals additional growth in the future.


4) Thai industrial mood reaches 10-year high in March

Thailand’s industrial mood reached a 10-year high in March, bolstered by a steady rebound in domestic demand and tourism, but rising costs remained a concern, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) on Wednesday.

The industrial sentiment index increased from 96.2 in February to 97.8 in March, indicating the third consecutive monthly growth.

The FTI cites robust domestic consumption, surging international visitors, and a rebound in the construction industry as reasons for optimism.

However, companies still fretted over rising costs, particularly those associated with raw materials and electricity. In addition to the global economic slowdown, businesses were worried about sluggish demand as major central banks favored tightening monetary policy.