Shares rise on relief over Fed stance

Shares rise on relief over Fed stance

Recap: Global shares rose yesterday, heading for a gain on the week, after minutes from the last Fed meeting suggested the US central bank may get less aggressive on monetary policy tightening.

The SET index moved in a range of 1,623.6 and 1,646.37 points this week before closing yesterday at 1,638.75, up 0.97% from the previous week, in daily turnover averaging 63.54 billion baht.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 6.87 billion baht. Retail investors were net sellers of 5.07 billion, institutional investors sold 1.57 billion and brokerage firms offloaded 235.97 million baht worth of shares.

Newsmakers: US President Joe Biden launched a new Asia-Pacific economic initiative on Monday in Tokyo, with 13 countries including Thailand, India and Japan signed up, although questions about the pact’s effectiveness remain as tariff cuts are not part of the plan.

The European Central Bank is likely to increase its key interest rate, currently negative, to zero by September and could continue raising rates after that, president Christine Lagarde said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday sounded an unusually stark warning about the world’s second-largest economy, saying it must return to normal as the country’s zero-Covid strategy has delivered a serious blow to growth.

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng signalled her country may continue to protest against the war in Ukraine at summits involving Russian officials, after joining a US-led walkout at an Apec meeting in Bangkok last weekend.

India has capped sugar exports to safeguard its own supplies and ease inflation, days after a ban on wheat shipments sent global prices soaring in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Indonesia’s central bank on Tuesday announced more aggressive hikes in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks, expecting inflation to rise slightly above its target this year, but kept interest rates unchanged at a record low.

Pfizer Inc plans to sell its entire portfolio of brand-name drugs at cost in as many as 45 lower-income countries, including Cambodia and Laos, one of the most ambitious drug-access programmes ever announced by a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Samsung Group on Tuesday announced a massive US$356-billion investment blueprint for the next five years aimed at making it a frontrunner in a wide range of sectors from semiconductors to biologics.

Elon Musk notified US regulators on Wednesday that he would rely less on loans in his bid to buy Twitter, as he and partners have put $33.5 billion into the deal.

Crypto firms made a major PR push at the Davos gathering of the world’s business elites this week, but were told they will need to clean up their act before gaining complete acceptance from the World Economic Forum.

Thailand’s policy interest rate will have to rise but the timing will depend on the view of the Monetary Policy Committee, given that the economy is still growing below its potential and the recovery is facing uncertainty, Bank of Thailand board chairman Porametee Vimolsiri said on Wednesday.

Government revenue collection in the first seven months of fiscal 2022 surpassed its target by 3.7% as rising imports meant more tariffs collected, in line with the economic recovery, said the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

The FPO plans to discourage financial institutions from enticing consumers to unnecessarily create more debt as part of its efforts to curb high household debt levels.

Thailand’s official unemployment rate dropped in the first quarter to 1.53%, its lowest level since the start of the pandemic, helped by higher employment in both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has invested in DX, a Singapore-based digital securities service exchange platform, aiming to expand opportunities for the Thai capital market.

Although the Russia-Ukraine war has many countries worried about food security, the government and corporate groups insist that Thailand has no threat of shortages.

Thailand — a major exporter of sugar, chickens and rice — looks set to benefit as some of its neighbours’ limit shipments of agricultural commodities to shelter consumers from surging prices.

The subsidised pump price of standard diesel will remain capped at 32 baht a litre — about 10 baht below the real market price — in Greater Bangkok for another week.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has set its recovery targets for the rest of the year, saying it hopes to see the national hotel occupancy rate reach 50%, compared with just 14% in 2021, and airline cabin factor rising to 70% from 50% now.

The cabinet has acknowledged the extension of the fourth phase of the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy scheme to assist the tourism sector.

Authorities are preparing to allow cruise ships from the United States to dock in Phuket for the first time since the pandemic began, with the 4,100-passenger capacity Spectrum of the Seas scheduled to be the first arrival next month.

The Federation of Thai Industries has maintained its car production target of 1.8 million units this year, though many manufacturers have had to temporarily suspend production due to a shortage of semiconductors or other parts.

The Government Savings Bank (GSB) says it stands ready to extend loans to Thai Airways International and the Oil Fuel Fund to improve their liquidity.

PTT Oil and Retail Business Plc (OR) is pushing ahead with its new vision to partner with startups and small and medium enterprises over the next eight years to achieve rapid growth of non-oil businesses together.

Big C Supercenter Plc has acquired Kiwi Mart, a convenience store chain in Cambodia, via a Cambodian subsidiary to strengthen its retail business in the neighbouring country.

Coming up: Germany will release May consumer prices on Monday. Due on Tuesday are German unemployment and euro zone consumer prices for May, May manufacturing PMI from China, US consumer confidence and a Canadian GDP update.

Australia will release first-quarter GDP on Wednesday. China, Germany and Britain will release May manufacturing PMI, the US will release April job openings and the Bank of Canada will announce its interest rate decision.

The US will release May payroll and unemployment data and non-manufacturing PMI on Friday.

Stocks to watch: KTB Securities recommends hospitals with large foreign customer bases, including BH, BDMS, PR9 and EKH, as tourism reopening increases their attractiveness. The brokerage recommends buying PR9 at 17.50 baht and BDMS at 31 baht.

Krungsri Securities recommends stocks of firms that benefit from rising oil and coal prices such as PTTEP, TOP, IVL, SPRC, BCP and BANPU. Stocks that will benefit from reopening include AOT, MINT, CENTEL, ERW, BDMS, BH, BEM, BTS and CPALL. Rubber stocks STA and NER are also expected to see growth thanks to rising demand from China.

Technical view: Capital Nomura Securities sees support at 1,617 points and resistance at 1,650. DBS Vickers Securities sees support at 1,590 and resistance at 1,650.