Shares mixed in thin holiday trade
Recap: Global shares were mixed on Christmas Eve with thin trading volumes as some major markets, including Hong Kong and Singapore, closed early for the Christmas holiday.
The SET index moved in a range of 1,612.96 and 1,645.71 points this week before closing yesterday at 1,637.22, down 0.27% from the previous week, in daily turnover averaging 67.48 billion baht.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 4.54 billion baht and brokerage firms bought 1.79 billion baht. Institutional investors were net sellers of 5.55 billion baht and retail investors offloaded 780.79 million baht worth of shares.
Newsmakers: Wall Street has enjoyed a second straight year of feverish revenue growth. As 2022 approaches, however, big banks face a major challenge in maintaining the torrid pace of business that lifted the Nasdaq Bank Index 36% this year, say analysts.
- New claims for unemployment benefits remained below pre-pandemic levels, consumer spending increased and new-home sales reached a seven-month high, data released on Thursday showed, putting the US economy on track for a strong finish to 2021.
- The US state of California announced Monday it is suing Walmart, alleging the retail giant unlawfully disposes of millions of toxic waste items.
- China has approved a merger of key rare-earths companies, creating a behemoth that will strengthen its control over the global sector it has dominated for decades.
- NatWest Markets pled guilty and agreed to a $35 million fine to settle US criminal charges that it committed fraud in the Treasury bond market, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
- Boeing announced on Tuesday that it had sealed an order to sell 19 freighter planes to UPS in the latest sign of how surging e-commerce use is boosting the air cargo market.
- Oracle Corp on Monday announced its largest deal ever, the $28.3-billion purchase of the electronic medical records company Cerner Corp that vaults the business-software giant deeper into healthcare technology.
- Myanmar's military government said on Wednesday it would pilot accepting renminbi as the official settlement currency for cross-border trade next year and planned to restart several development projects with China.
- The government is targeting economic growth of up to 4.2% annually under its medium-term fiscal policy framework for 2023-26, and plans to maintain a budget deficit to help the fragile economy.
- The Bank of Thailand left its key interest rate steady for a 13th straight meeting on Wednesday as it sought to maintain support for the pandemic-hit economy, while it slightly upgraded its growth outlook for this year.
- The government is planning a fiscal 2023 budget of 3.185 trillion baht, with a deficit of 695 billion for the fiscal year, which starts next October.
- The Bank of Thailand has cut its forecast for foreign tourist arrivals in 2022 because of the impact of Omicron and government measures to restore mandatory quarantine for visitors from abroad.
- The cabinet on Tuesday approved stimulus packages and dubbed them New Year's presents in what has become an annual ritual to stimulate spending during the festive season.
- Over 3 million jobs have been lost in the hospitality and tourism sector in Thailand since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2019.
- The government is upbeat about exports this year, projecting a 16% growth in value from the low base of 2020 to US$268 billion, boosted by a global economic recovery. But growth is forecast to moderate to between 0.2% and 4.8% next year.
- The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is expected to be instrumental to investment and economic growth, with investments in the area projected to increase the country's economic growth by 1.5 percentage points a year between 2022 and 2026, says Kanit Sangsubhan, secretary-general of the EEC Office.
- Use of cash in Thailand is expected to decline by 4% in 10 years and 15% in 20 years as more people shift to e-payment, according to a Bank of Thailand paper.
- The SET is launching Thai Digital Exchange (TDX), its own bourse for digital assets, in the third quarter of next year with asset-backed investment tokens as the first product.
- Domestic car manufacturing is expected to exceed its target of 1.6 million units this year, thanks to the reopening of the country and greater consumer confidence, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). The decline in domestic car sales narrowed to 3.2% year-on-year in November after a 13% fall in the previous month.
- Thailand's largest department store owner, Central Group, is is teaming up with the Austrian property firm Signa for the £4-billion (180 billion baht) acquisition of the UK-based retail group Selfridges, involving 18 leading department stores including the iconic flagship in London.
- The Pizza Company, owned by SET-listed Minor Food Group, is revamping its brand and restaurant concept to cope with the potential impact of the new Covid variant and sustain sales growth.
Coming up: Japan will release November retail sales on Monday and November unemployment on Tuesday. The US will release November goods trade and pending home sales on Wednesday. Britain will release December housing prices and the US will release December initial jobless claims on Thursday.
Stocks to watch: SCB Securities recommends a portfolio consisting of 50% cash and 50% stocks. Half the equity portfolio could consist of reopening beneficiaries such as MINT, CRC, AOT and TOP, and domestic plays that will benefit from government stimulus measures such as HMPRO, CPN and CRC. The remainder could consist of blue chips like KBANK, GPSC, INTUCH, and SPALI.
- Country Group Securities recommends focusing on reopening stocks such as BJC, CRC, CPALL, DOHOME, GLOBAL, HMPRO, BBL, KBANK, SCB, MAJOR, PLANB, VGI, M, MINT and CPN.
Technical view: DBS Vickers Securities sees support at 1,610 points and resistance 1,660. Finansia Syrus Securities sees support at 1,600 and resistance at 1,650.