Market Roundup 2 May 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,528.43 points, decreased 0.69 points or 0.05% with a trading value of 39 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market was weaker than the regional markets, but still stood its ground above 1,520 points after falling around 10 points in the afternoon session as investors pulled back on risk assets prior to a long holiday.

The analyst stated that it is possible that the stock market would continue to decline tomorrow.


2) IMF raises economic growth for Asia Pacific to 4.6% in 2023

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its economic outlook for Asia-Pacific, seeing recovery in China and resilient growth in India to drive the economy in the region.

The revised outlook came as the global economy is expecting to take a hit from a slow down from tightened monetary policy and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The IMF expected economic growth in Asia-Pacific to expand 4.6% in 2023, up by 0.3 percentage points from its forecast in October last year. Gross domestic product in 2022 for the region was 3.8%.

The new growth outlook indicates that the region’s economic expansion would contribute around 70% of global growth this year.


3) Inflation in Eurozone rises again to hit 7% in April

Preliminary statistics released on Tuesday showed an increase in inflation across the eurozone in April, with the rate continuing to run well above the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

The headline rate of inflation increased to 7% in April from 6.9% in March, according to Eurostat. Excluding food and energy, core inflation was 5.6% in April, down from 5.7% in March.

The most recent data arrives days before the ECB is expected to announce fresh monetary policy. There has been much speculation about whether the central bank will hike rates by 0.50% or 0.25%. The main rate set by the ECB is now 3%.

Inflation has remained above the ECB’s target of 2% despite the steady rises in interest rates. According to projections released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week, headline inflation will not meet the European Central Bank’s target until 2025.


4) Thailand exports drop 4.5% in 1Q23; full-year growth expected at 1%

Thailand’s exports contracted by 4.5% in the first quarter, far better than the expected 10% drop, with the sector expected to begin recovering in the second second half of the year, the Thai National Shippers’ Council said on Tuesday.

TNSC chairman Chaichan Charoensuk stated that the outcome was better than the previous forecast of a 10% decline; however, due to global uncertainties and rising costs of production, the group has lowered its full-year projection of export growth to 0.0-1.0%, compared to the previous forecast of 1.0-2.0% expansion.

Exports are expected to be -2.0-3.0% in 2Q23 before returning to growth in the third quarter, said the Thai National Shippers’ Council.