Market Roundup 19 July 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,536.64 points, increased 1.34 points or 0.09% with a trading value of 51 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market fluctuated after the Constitutional Court ordered PM candidate ‘Pita’ to be temporarily suspended from his role as lawmakers during the investigation of his case.

The market also concerned of a potential protest after the parliament resolved to cross out Pita’s name from the candidate.


2) ADB trims growth forecast for South-East Asia to 4.6%

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday trimmed down its growth forecast for South-east Asia this year to 4.6% from 4.7%, as weaker global demand has hampered manufacturing exports.

The region’s growth is expected to rise to 4.9% in 2024, down from earlier projection of 5%, as “weaker global demand for manufactured exports has slowed growth while domestic demand has remained intact,” according to ADB’s latest Asian Development Outlook report.

For this year, Singapore and Vietnam have seen their growth forecasts lowered due to lower external demand, which is having an impact on manufacturing output. In the meantime, the prognosis for Thailand improved while that for Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines remained unchanged.

However, by 2024, South-east Asia is forecast to outpace emerging Asia, which is forecast to grow at 4.7%, down from the 4.8% predicted in April.

Reducing global commodity prices and tighter monetary policy have resulted in a lowered inflation projection for South-East Asia of 4.3% in 2023 and 3.2% in 2024.


3) UK inflation cools to 7.9% in June, below expectations

Inflation in the United Kingdom came lower than anticipated in June, but remained well above the Bank of England’s 2.0% target, official data showed on Wednesday.

Following May’s hotter-than-expected 8.7% reading, the headline consumer price index in the UK cooled to 7.9% in June. Reuters’ survey of economists predicted an annual increase of 8.2%.

The headline CPI rose 0.1% month over month, which was less than the average estimate of 0.4%. The annualized rate of core inflation, which excludes volatile energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, held steady in June at 6.9% after reaching a 31-year high of 7.1% in May.

Last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted that the UK will have the highest inflation rate among all advanced nations this year, at a headline annual rate of 6.9%.


4) Thai central bank expects to continue raising rates despite inflation falling below target

Thailand’s central bank expects to see 2.9% economic growth in the first six months and 4.2% in the second half of the year, while believing that the economic recovery of the second largest economy in Southeast Asia is intact.

Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that the central bank will continue to gradually normalize interest rates to boost economic growth while keeping inflation in check.