Market Roundup 3 August 2023

1) Thai stock market overview

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,529.01 points, decreased 21.27 points or 1.37% with a trading value of 51 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market closed lower, following the weakness in global markets as Fitch Ratings downgraded the U.S. credit ratings, resulting in a correction after a series of gains in the past weeks.

Meanwhile, the prolonged process in voting for the new PM and forming government also weighed on the market sentiment as well.


2) China’s service sector growth accelerates in July thanks to summer travel

A spike in summer travel helped boost China’s services sector in July, the Caixin PMI released Thursday showed, somewhat countering the drag from the poor manufacturing sector.

The services sector has seen seven consecutive months of growth as measured by the Caixin/S&P Global purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which increased to 54.1 in July from 53.9 in June. Expansion and contraction in activity are separated by the 50-point threshold.

The figures contradicted a Monday government survey that showed services activity had continued to soften. Analysts said the difference could be a result of the diverse make-ups of the surveyed companies and the varying research methodology used.

Analysts opined that summer travel may have boosted related consumption, despite sales of certain high-priced items remained sluggish, resulting in a divided retail sales picture for July.

The Caixin/S&P composite PMI, which takes into account both manufacturing and services, decreased to 51.9 in July from 52.5 in June, representing the seventh consecutive month of growth. However, this expansion was at its slowest pace since January.


3) Dollar stays at 4-week high on strong jobs data

The U.S. dollar stayed at a four-week high against other major currencies on Thursday as strong private payrolls data overshadowed Fitch’s downgrade of its U.S. sovereign rating.

Dollar index trades 0.2% higher at 102.602 at 14:10 Bangkok time, just off a four-week high of 102.82 set on Wednesday. The dollar index gauges the value of the dollar compared to a basket of six other currencies.

U.S. payrolls climbed much more than expected in July, according to private data, which has strengthened the dollar and raised hopes for the official jobs report.

On Friday, the U.S. will release its nonfarm payrolls report.

Following a quarter-point increase in interest rates in July, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has made it clear that policymakers would be looking at economic data for indicators of the health of the U.S. economy before the next meeting in September.