SET stumbles again despite stimulus news

SET stumbles again despite stimulus news

Key gauge sheds 1.9% on the day as global headlines depress investors

Worries about the continued spread of the coronavirus dented the SET index which plunged again on Friday. (Bangkok Post photo)
Worries about the continued spread of the coronavirus dented the SET index which plunged again on Friday. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand ended the week on a downbeat note on Friday as another round of equity sell-offs reflected fear of a virus-induced recession despite government plans for a cash splurge to ease the pain.

The cabinet on Friday approved a stimulus package estimated to be worth over 100 billion baht, comprising of cash handouts, soft loans, debt moratorium and tax benefits. 

But investors apparently did not respond well as reports of coronavirus cases globally approached 100,000, with more infections reported in the United States, Germany and South Korea.

The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that a “long list” of countries were not showing political commitment needed to “match the level of the threat we all face”.

The SET Index closed at 1,364.57 points, down 26.26 points or 1.9% from the previous day, in turnover worth 52.2 billion baht. However, it was up by 1.8% from the end of the previous week.

“The number of [Covid-19] patients in China has declined, but infection figures have sharply increased in Europe and the US, potentially pulling down global economic growth this year below previous expectations,” said Veeravat Virochpoka, vice-president of Finansia Syrus Securities.

The Thai government’s economic stimulus package could help improve short-term market sentiment, but the uncontrollable coronavirus outbreak still lingers as the main downside risk pressuring stock markets worldwide, said Mr Veeravat.

The SET index is expected to experience recurring volatility throughout next week, moving along the level of 1,320 and 1,400 points, according to UOB Kay Hian Securities Thailand.

“The stock market will swing in a wide band depending on good and bad developments of the Covid-19 epidemic,” said Thanadech Rungsrithananon, senior vice-president at UOB Kay Hian Securities Thailand.

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