Market Roundup 4 April 2024

Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,373.89 points, decreased 1.80 points or 0.13% with a trading value of 30.64 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market slightly decreased as there were no factors supporting the index. The market downgraded its expectations for the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates in June after the economic data in the US remained strong. The Thai stock market encountered a continuous wave of selloff in bank stocks, as investors raised concerns over interest rate cuts by the Monetary Policy Committee next week, while also gaining some purchasing power from energy stocks.

The analyst expected the market to trade sideways tomorrow, as Songkran Festival is getting closer.


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated yesterday that it will take some time to evaluate the current state of inflation, leading to uncertainty regarding the timing of potential interest rate cuts.

Powell emphasized that they are not in a rush to ease monetary policy and do not expect to lower the policy rate until there is greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably down towards 2 percent. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has previously voted to hold benchmark short-term borrowing rates steady, with a need for “greater confidence” before considering cuts. The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index, showed higher rates (2.5% for February) than the 2% target.

Market expectations for FOMC easing this year have been recalibrated as inflation has remained higher than anticipated. Other economic indicators, such as job gains and consumer spending, have also been strong. Powell mentioned that recent data, while higher than expected, have not materially changed the overall picture of solid growth, a strong labor market, and inflation trending towards 2%.


The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) has announced a 300-billion yuan ($41 billion) financing initiative to support the tourism industry in China amidst sluggish consumer spending in the world’s second-largest economy. This move by the largest bank in China comes as a response to economic challenges such as deflationary pressure and a prolonged property crisis, which have impacted consumer activity.

In a collaboration agreement signed with China’s culture and tourism ministry, ICBC aims to “stimulate” tourism investment and spending. The partnership will focus on boosting key tourism-related construction projects, with several agreements being signed with tourism agencies based in various Asian cities like Seoul, Tokyo, and Thailand through ICBC’s branches.


Malaysia emerged as an attractive hotspot for semiconductor companies alongside Japan and India as they aimed to settle major chip hubs in the Southeast Asian country amid chip tensions between the US and China.

Malaysia was known for its experience in the ‘back end’ of the semiconductor manufacturing process, as the country held 13% of the global market for chip packaging, assembly, and testing, according to the data from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority reported by CNBC.

Semiconductor firms across the world, such as Intel, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, and Neways, had already or aimed to invest in Malaysia for various potential of the country, for example, the diverse talent pool, well-established infrastructure, and robust supply chain.

Meanwhile, Zafrul Aziz, Malaysia’s investment, trade and industry minister, told CNBC in January that Malaysia also aimed to focus on the ‘front end’ of the chip manufacturing process, involving wafer fabrication and photolithography, as well, strengthening its capability alongside the strong ‘back end’.