Europe upbeat, Asian bourses track US rally

Europe upbeat, Asian bourses track US rally

Recap: European stocks were steady yesterday but still on course to their sixth straight weekly gain, with sentiment helped by strong earnings from the Swiss luxury goods company Richemont. Asian shares rose following a rally in US tech stocks on Thursday.

The SET index moved in a range of 1,621.35 and 1,640.66 points this week before closing yesterday at 1,633.94, up 0.47% from the previous week, in daily turnover averaging 72.08 billion baht.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 3.43 billion baht and brokerage firms bought 3.16 billion baht. Retail investors were net sellers of 3.35 billion baht and institutional investors offloaded 3.23 billion baht worth of shares.

Newsmakers: The global economy's comeback from last year's deep contraction is approaching a delicate juncture, as policymakers and executives grapple with the bumpy transition from the post-pandemic reopening to a more normalised pace of growth.

  • US trade officials on Wednesday quashed an effort by a group of domestic solar manufacturers to seek tariffs on panels imported from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, citing the group's refusal to identify its members.
  • China's exports rose by a better-than-expected 27.1% in October from the low base of a year earlier, with demand strengthening in key markets such as the United States and Covid numbers easing overseas.
  • The Beijing Stock Exchange will launch trading on Monday, just two months after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans for the new bourse, which is designed to serve small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • China on Thursday held a subdued version of its annual "Singles Day" shopping spree, shorn of the usual boasting of sales volume as the chastened e-commerce sector kept a lower profile amid a government crackdown on platforms. Alibaba quietly announced that the 11-day campaign raked in a record-breaking 540.3 billion yuan ($84 billion) in sales through Thursday.
  • China is on track to cut tariffs when the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact with Asean and other key markets formally comes into force at the start of next year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Southeast Asia's booming internet economy is set to double in value to $363 billion by 2025, eclipsing the previous forecast of $300 billion, research from Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co shows.
  • The multinational conglomerate General Electric says it will split into three separate, publicly traded companies -- healthcare, energy and aviation -- in the latest move by the industrial giant to shore up its fortunes.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offloaded shares worth $5 billion in the electric car company, days after posting a Twitter poll -- in which millions voted -- asking whether he should sell 10% of his huge stake.
  • Rivian Automotive, an American maker of electric pickup trucks, SUVs and vans backed by Amazon and Ford, raised $11.9 billion in its Wall Street debut on Tuesday.
  • Bitcoin and ether hit all-time highs on Tuesday in an ongoing cryptocurrency rally that some analysts attributed partly to the search for investments to hedge risks from inflation.
  • Gold was heading for its biggest weekly rise in six months, with the spot price crossing $1,860 an ounce, as high US consumer prices drove interest in the metal as an inflation hedge.
  • Oil prices drifted lower, as the dollar continued to rise, while traders speculated on whether the Biden administration might release oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cool prices.
  • McAfee Corp said Monday it would be acquired by an investor group for around $12 billion in cash, about a year after the security-software company went public.
  • The World Bank plans a replacement in about two years for its flagship "Doing Business" report, which was cancelled after a data-rigging scandal alleged to have favoured China and Saudi Arabia, among others.
  • The Bank of Thailand (BoT) expects high headline inflation, which reached 2.4% year-on-year in October, will be short-term and will not pressure monetary policy and the economic recovery.
  • The central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5% again on Wednesday, as widely expected, to support the economy.
  • Thai tourism is on course to reboot in the post-pandemic era by targeting the quality market and first-time visitors from emerging destinations along with the domestic market, authorities say.
  • Tourism operators in resort cities near Bangkok are urging the government to adjust the hotel subsidy scheme called We Travel Together to help small and medium enterprises gain more benefits.
  • Glitches in the early days of the Thailand Pass system have caused inconvenience for tourists from abroad, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ironed out some problems with document acceptance and application tracking. Demand has been heavy, with more than 140,000 applications received so far.
  • The government is considering replacing the RT-PCR test with other screening methods for vaccinated tourists under the Test & Go scheme, and easing high-risk close contact (HRC) rules which force airplane passengers who had sat near Covid-19 patients to undergo mandatory quarantine.
  • The Finance Ministry will discuss with the Budget Bureau a 76-billion-baht budget to support rice farmers under the farmers' income guarantee scheme, said Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
  • The Thailand Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) in October rose to 82.1 points, the highest in five months, due mainly to the speedy distribution of 80 million doses of Covid vaccines and the reopening of the country, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). More than 50% of the population is now fully vaccinated.
  • Truckers plan another rally in the next two weeks to put pressure on the government to keep diesel prices at 25 baht per litre as the rising cost affects their livelihoods.
  • The National Energy Policy Council has approved a proposal by the state Oil Fund to borrow 30 billion baht to subsidise retail diesel prices.
  • The Finance Ministry will maintain a balance between supporting existing manufacturers of internal combustion engine cars and promoting electric vehicles (EVs) in its restructuring of the vehicle excise tax system, an official said this week.
  • PTT Plc and the Chinese EV startup Hozon have signed an agreement to expand the local EV market, the companies said on Wednesday.
  • The Department of Mineral Fuels has renewed licences to produce natural gas in the Bongkot gas field for PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), enabling the company to continue with its plan to secure sufficient gas supply for Thailand.
  • Kerry Express (Thailand) and Betagro Group have jointly set up Kerry Cool to oversee a delivery platform for frozen and refrigerated food.
  • AirAsia Group predicts the aviation business will return to normal within three months on condition that more borders in the region reopen with no quarantine and RT-PCR tests required.
  • M Vision Plc is tapping into the metaverse opportunity by working with a Singaporean partner to handle marketing and land trade management at Metaverse Thailand, where virtual land can be bought, traded and developed.
  • The SET-listed vending and top-up machine operator Sabuy Technology is moving into ATMs as it seeks to expand its business ecosystem.

Coming up: Japan will release third-quarter GDP on Monday. Due the same day are Chinese fixed asset investment and euro zone trade figures.

  • The euro zone will release third-quarter GDP and Britain will release October unemployment claims on Tuesday. The US will announce October retail sales and export and import prices.
  • Britain, the euro zone and Canada will release October inflation data on Wednesday, and the US will release October building permits and housing starts. Britain and Canada will release October retail sales on Friday.

Stocks to watch: Bualuang Securities recommends stocks the delivered better-than-expected performance in the third quarter including AP, IRPC, NETBAY, KCE and JASIF. Stocks that it said missed net profit targets included TOP, OR and MTC.

  • Asia Plus Securities said stocks that will benefit from recent baht appreciation and attract fund inflows are TFG and TVO. Firms with foreign debt that will also benefit from still-low interest rates are GULF, BGRIM, EGCO, PTT and PTTEP. Others include aviation stocks such as BA and AAV, and large-cap stocks in the SET50 and SET100 including BBL, KBANK, SCC and ADVANC. In contrast, stocks that will lose when the baht weakens are exporters such as HANA, KCE, SVI, DELTA and CPF.

Technical view: DBS Vickers Securities sees support at 1,600 points and resistance at 1,650. Thanachart Securities sees support at 1,626 and resistance at 1,675.

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