1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,543.95 points, increased 3.75 points or 0.24% with a trading value of 42 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai market made a slight recovery in the same direction as regional markets from the short-term negative sentiment in the U.S. market. The buying in big-cap stocks also helps buoy the market higher. Still, the analyst recommended monitoring earnings results and economic data in the U.S. and Europe.
2) Thailand’s March exports contract by 4.2%, but better than expected
March saw the sixth consecutive month of weakening exports for Thailand, with the Ministry of Commerce reporting a 4.2% year-over-year decline. This was less severe than the 14.0% contraction predicted by a Reuters poll.
The ministry said that the decline was due to an overall slowing in demand around the world. The figure was also marginally better than the 4.7% decline recorded in February.
Exports of agricultural and industrial products improved in March, the ministry said in a statement.
Imports fell by 7.1% in March compared to the same month a year ago, which was more than the 4.7% decrease that had been predicted, and led to a trade surplus of $2.72 billion.
The ministry has remained committed to its goal of a 1%-2% increase in exports for 2023.
3) China to remove PCR test requirement for inbound travelers
China will further relax its zero-COVID policies, saying that from Saturday (April 29), inbound travelers will no longer be required to present a negative PCR test and can instead show a negative antigen test result taken within 48 hours prior to boarding, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
As part of its efforts to bring back tourists, the country resumed issuing all visa kinds last month. However, it has maintained PCR testing requirements for travelers traveling from specific countries, despite the fact that the high cost of doing so has been a major disincentive for visitors to return.
Airlines will no longer check test results before departure.
4) Global EV sales exceed 10 million in 2022, IEA says
Sales of electric cars rose to more than 10 million in 2022, led by strong surge in the Chinese market that accounted for around 60% of global sales, the International Energy Agency reported on Wednesday.
Sales which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) increased by 55% compared to 2021 and exceeded the 10 million market last year, wrote the report.
IEA expected worldwide sales to reach almost 14 million this year.