1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,564.66 points, increased 2.41 points or 0.15% with a trading value of 52 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market moved narrowly with a buying pressure in the banking sector, while the majority of stock markets in Asia traded lower in today’s session after the announcement of shrinking trade data from China. The analyst recommended investors to monitor U.S. inflation and the negotiation to raise the debt ceiling tomorrow.
2) China’s exports expand at slower pace in April, imports fall
China’s imports fell 7.9% year-over-year in April, while exports climbed 8.5%, customs statistics released on Tuesday showed. This followed a surprising increase of 14.8% in March.
Economists polled by Reuters predicted an annual increase of 8% in exports and no growth in imports.
Despite the December lifting of stringent COVID restrictions, China’s economy has experienced a sluggish recovery, with a challenging outlook exacerbated by slowing global growth and domestic consumption.
3) Markets now price in Federal Reserve rate cut in July
After the Federal Reserve’s 10th consecutive rate increase last week, comments from Chairman Jerome Powell, and the central bank dropping language that “some additional policy firming may be appropriate,” the markets now see a 31% chance of a rate cut in July.
As expected, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points last week, bringing the benchmark rate for U.S. borrowing to 5.25% from 5.00%. This is the Fed’s 10th hike in 14 months to take interest rates up from near zero in March 2022. This is also the highest level in 16 years.
Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference on Wednesday that “a decision on a pause was not made today,” but he did say that the revised language in the statement about future policy firming was “meaningful.”
The market was disappointed after Fed Chair Jerome Powell ruled out a rate cut since he did not expect inflation to fall quickly enough, but markets did pick up some positive signs this time as the central bank appeared to have softened its tone on future rate hikes.
According to the CME FedWatch tool, markets saw an 85% chance of the Federal Reserve holding rates at their current level in June, and the probability of a 25 basis point cut at the July meeting is around 31%.
Meanwhile, the base case showed three 25 basis point rate cuts in 2023 with the first cut to begin in September.