Confidence dips again as recession looms

Confidence dips again as recession looms

Large-cap stocks listed on Thailand's stock market saw another day of sell-off following the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) grim economic forecast and a fall in crude prices.

With a 3% decline projected for the global economy this year, as the world has been stunned by the Covid-19 pandemic, the contraction is seen as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

For Thailand, the IMF has downgraded the country's economic forecast to a contraction of 6.7% from a 2.5% growth predicted earlier, making it the worst performer among its Asean peers.

Investor confidence faltered again on Thursday reflected through a near 3% sell-off of local equities.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index closed at 1,200.15 points, down 35.95 points or -2.9%, in turnover worth 60 billion baht.

Shares of PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC) fell the most by 8.3%, followed by PTT (-6.3%), PTTEP (-5.4%), GULF (-4.7%) and MINT (-2.9%).

Nuttachart Mekmasin, executive director of Trinity Securities, said first-quarter earnings of SET-listed firms warrant a close monitoring as lower-than-expected earnings are likely to transpire.

Analyst from Krungsri Securities, speaking on condition of anonymity, said crude prices dropping below US$20 per barrel, a record low for over 20 years, weighs on listed firms' financial performance during the first quarter.

The grim figures undercut the positive feeling from the weekend agreement between global oil producers to phase-in a record output cut.

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