SET index leaps nearly 7%

SET index leaps nearly 7%

Investors cheer as virus deaths slow

Local stocks were buoyed by a pickup in global oil prices and better news on the coronavirus front.  Pornprom Satrabhaya
Local stocks were buoyed by a pickup in global oil prices and better news on the coronavirus front.  Pornprom Satrabhaya

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) opened the trading week on an upbeat note with a nearly 7% rise, buoyed by a pickup in global crude prices and a decline in coronavirus fatalities in the Western epicentres.

The SET index on Tuesday closed the session at 1,214.95, up 76.11 points or 6.7%, in turnover worth 98.9 billion baht.

Shares of Airports of Thailand rose the most (15%), followed by GPSC (14%), BAM (12.8%), PTTEP (9.8%) and GULF (9.1%).

Improving oil prices and the slowdown in virus-related deaths in some countries helped shore up investment sentiment, said an analyst at UOB Kay Hian Securities Thailand.

The rally in oil prices has continued for five days straight, with prices of West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude up 29.82% and 45.2% respectively, the analyst said.

The Opec meeting scheduled for Wednesday warrants a close watch, with optimism that Saudi Arabia and Russia will work together to cut oil production at the meeting.

Despite an increase in coronavirus infections globally, the number of fatalities has been lower, suggesting that the outbreak may have peaked in some countries, the analyst said.

"Falling infection and death rates from Covid-19 in the worst of the European and US epicentres has inspired markets that the worst of the outbreak is peaking," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific at Oanda Corporation.

"The V-shaped recovery desperados are almost certainly getting ahead of themselves," he said, "especially when the full impact of Covid-19 is yet to make itself felt across key emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, as well as the US ex New York and California."

Funds look set to continue to stream out of the region in the coming period, albeit at a lesser volume, said Finansia Syrus Securities (FSS).

"International funds may turn to flow into the region in the near term as the number of newly confirmed Covid-19 cases starts to decelerate in the US and Europe," FSS said.

Gold remains a good safe-haven asset for the next six months against the backdrop of uncertainty.

"I would look to stock markets for short-term direction for gold prices and resist laying the recent rally at the doorstep of the central bank's stimulus efforts," Mr Halley said.

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