SET tumbles 8%, PTT Group shares lead losses

SET tumbles 8%, PTT Group shares lead losses

Southeast Asian markets also hit hard over oil price war fears

The SET index ended the day with the worst intrady session since December 2014. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
The SET index ended the day with the worst intrady session since December 2014. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand index nosedived on Monday in its worst intraday session since December 2014, with oil-and-gas giant PTT Plc plunging nearly 30%.

Shares of PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) and PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC) also dropped almost 30%, the level where a circuit breaker kicks in.

Institutional investors led the sell-off, with a net 12.7 billion baht, followed by foreign investors, at 4 billion. Small investors bought a net 15.7 billion baht worth of shares, followed by brokers, at 957.6 million.  

PTT shares lost 9.50 baht or 25.3% to close at 28 baht. PTTEP stocks were off 31.75 baht or 29.8% to end at 74.75 baht and PTTGC ended 11.25 baht or 26.6% lower at 31 baht.

The losses of the heavyweights led the SET index's free fall. It ended 108.63 points or 7.96% lower to close the day at 1,255.94 in heavy turnover of 103 billion baht. The drop was the most dramatic among Asean's six markets. Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam ended the day around 6% lower.  

Charoen Pokphand shares also dropped on Monday after the CP Group won the Tesco deal.

CPALL shares ended 5.50 baht or 8% lower to 63.75, while Charoen Pokphand Foods stocks were down 3.30 baht, or 12%, to 24.20 baht.

Oil prices plunged as much as 31.5% — the most since 1991 — after Saudi Arabia started a price war following Russia's refusal to agree to a further steep cut in oil output.

Broader Asian markets fell 4.4% in their worst day since August 2015 as the number of people infected with the coronavirus topped 110,000 across the world, with the outbreak reaching more countries and causing more economic damage.

"The market continues to be fear- and headline-driven, and it is difficult to imagine a durable and broad-based recovery in risk sentiments soon," Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank, said in a note to clients.

Oil- and coronavirus-driven risks are likely to deepen the sell-off in Asian markets, he added. Denting sentiment further, exports in China — the region's biggest trading partner — contracted sharply in the first two months of the year and it ran a trade deficit for the period.

Singapore bourse ended 6% down in its worst session since October 2008. Petrochemical firm Sembcorp Industries tumbled nearly 10% to hit a more than 15-year low.

Malaysian equities fell 4.1% to hit a more than eight-year low. Petronas Chemicals Group, unit of Malaysia's state-owned energy firm Petroliam Nasional, dropped more than 22% to a record low. Financial stocks across the region fell, as the double shock from the virus and slide in oil prices meant more stimulus measures from global central banks.

The Philippine benchmark shed over 6.8% to hit its lowest since Jan. 2016, hurt by financials and energy stocks.

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