1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,533.41 points, increased 5.11 points or 0.33% with a trading value of 57 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market fluctuated in a narrow range as investors were keeping an eye on earnings season and the forming of the new government. Rising oil prices also buoyed the energy sector. The US CPI should guide the market’s movement in tomorrow’s session with an expectation to rise 3.3%.
2) China lifts restrictions on group travel to over 70 destinations
China eased pandemic-era restrictions on tour groups for multiple countries, including key markets like the US, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, the country’s culture and tourism ministry said on Thursday.
With this announcement’s immediate effect, Chinese tour groups can once again visit dozens of destinations in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America.
Before the pandemic, mainland Chinese travelers had the highest per capita outbound spending of any country at $255 billion in 2019, with group travel accounting for an estimated 60% of that, according to a Reuters report.
This was the third list of approved countries. The first batch, approved in January, includes 20 countries such as Thailand, Russia, Cuba, and Argentina. Nepal, France, Portugal, and Brazil were among the 40 countries that made up the second group in March.
3) Global rice prices jump near 12-year highs, with Thailand seeing largest hikes
The UN’s food agency said global rice prices have reached near 12-year highs due to factors like India’s restriction on rice exports and the potential impact of severe weather conditions on production.
In July, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s All Rice Price Index increased by 2.8%, reaching 129.7.
According to FAO statistics, this represents a 19.7-percent increase from the previous year and the largest nominal amount since September 2011. Thailand saw the largest price hikes.
Prices were supported by “concerns over the potential impacts of El Niño on production in some suppliers,” according to the report, “as well as rain-induced interruptions and quality variability in Vietnam’s ongoing summer-autumn harvest.”
In the recent trading session, rice futures were priced at $16.02 per hundredweight (cwt), staying near 10-year highs.