Strong earnings lift stocks but inflation a worry

Asia's Tech News Daily

Recap: Global stocks rallied yesterday, helped by strong quarterly earnings from Wall Street, while spiralling energy prices spurred concerns over a global energy crunch and inflation. Brent oil futures traded near $85 a barrel for the first time since October 2018.

The SET index moved in a range of 1,629.95 and 1,651.41 points this week before closing yesterday at 1,638.34, down 0.07% from the previous week, in daily turnover averaging 86.44 billion baht.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 9.43 billion baht and brokerage firms bought 1.68 billion baht. Institutional investors were net sellers of 9.59 billion baht and retail investors offloaded 1.52 billion baht worth of shares.

Newsmakers: A vast overhaul of corporate taxation has won support from 136 countries, as nations resolved key differences over a global minimum rate and an end to new digital taxes that the United States has deemed discriminatory against its online giants.

Strong earnings lift stocks but inflation a worry

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was “confident” Congress would pass legislation to implement the global tax agreement.

US lawmakers rubber-stamped a short-term bill to lift the country’s borrowing authority Tuesday, averting the threat of a first-ever debt default — but only for a few weeks.

Snarls in transport and supply chains have led to rising prices and shortages of some goods, but US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday urged Americans not to panic.

Brent oil futures topped $85 a barrel for the first time in three years amid an energy crunch that is stoking inflationary pressures and prices for raw materials. A gauge of six industrial metals also hit a record high on the London Metal Exchange.

Bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time in six months yesterday, nearing its record high, amid reports from Bloomberg that the SEC had approved the launch of the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on futures contracts for the cryptocurrency.

Gold was set for its best week in nearly five months, with a weaker US dollar lifting its appeal despite indications that the Fed will start cutting asset purchases soon.

Asia-Pacific airlines have lost billions of dollars this year, with jets grounded in Covid-19 transport freezes. Now, as some of the world’s strictest pandemic-related travel rules begin to ease, they’re ramping up flights and ticket offers.

Bank of Thailand policymakers believe the economy bottomed out in the third quarter and will continue to recover, although uncertainty remains high, according to minutes of their last meeting released on Wednesday.

The Bank of Thailand’s Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research believes growing differences of opinion between rival political camps could have an effect on future Thai economic growth as people’s trust in one another has declined over the past decade.

All three state tax collection departments — Revenue, Customs and Excise — failed to meet their original revenue targets for fiscal 2021 that ended on Sept 30 as a result of the severe impact of the prolonged pandemic.

The Revenue Department has considered lowering the personal income tax for foreign experts to 17% as part of measures to woo highly skilled professionals to work in Thailand, says director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas.

There will be no quarantine for fully vaccinated air travellers from five countries from Nov 1, and destinations in more provinces will be opened to foreign tourists.

Starting today, the number of dark-red provinces for maximum Covid control will fall from 29 to 23, the night curfew will be shortened and more businesses can resume, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced on Thursday.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry expects to spend between 500 million and 600 million baht to host twin concerts in Bangkok and Phuket after it was confirmed that two superstars — Thai K-pop sensation Lisa and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli — will perform to celebrate the country’s reopening.

The Koh Samui sandbox programme has received positive feedback after lifting the mandatory quarantine, with new bookings during the first 10 days of this month already exceeding the total since the opening on July 15.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) aims to establish a private digital company in the next six months to support its digital transformation and help in generating 2.4 trillion baht from high-spending travellers by 2023.

A Digital Innovation Centre spanning 40,000 square metres of space is planned for Thailand Digital Valley, located in Si Racha district of Chon Buri, in the next 24 months.

Digital payments have quadrupled from pre-pandemic levels, the Bank of Thailand said on Monday, as the country’s longest-running wave of infections accelerates demand for online services.

The value of Thailand’s e-commerce market is expected to grow 6.1% to 4 trillion baht this year, driven by businesses that are sharpening their focus in the business-to-customer (B2C) field in the wake of the pandemic, according to the Electronic Transactions Development Agency.

The industrial sentiment index rose for the first time in six months in September thanks to an easing of coronavirus restrictions, while reopening plans should bolster the mood further, an industries group said on Tuesday.

Thailand’s overall investment applications from January to September jumped 140% from a year earlier to 521 billion baht, already exceeding those of the whole of last year, the investment agency said on Monday.

The value of Thailand’s creative industries is expected to grow by 3.5% to 1.51 trillion baht next year, according to the Creative Economy Agency (CEA).

The cabinet has approved a proposal by the state-owned Export-Import Bank of Thailand extending 5 billion baht in loans to entrepreneurs to upgrade their machinery and improve software.

Covid-19 has catalysed and accelerated a great disruption in the property market which was expected to take place over the next five to 10 years, but will now arrive sooner, says Jugkarut Ruangratanakorn, managing director of Chon Buri-based developer Ratanakorn Asset Co.

Thai Airways International will resume full service on 36 foreign routes to destinations in Europe, Asia and Australia, most of them on Oct 31, in response to the government’s decision to reopen the kingdom to tourists on Nov 1.

BCPG Plc aims to develop electric vehicle infrastructure and provide energy solution services in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

PTT Exploration and Production Plc is preparing to offer Asia’s first digital bonds worth 5 billion baht next month, allowing people to invest via the Pao Tang wallet.

Strong earnings lift stocks but inflation a worry

Coming up: New Zealand will release third-quarter consumer prices on Monday and China will release third-quarter GDP. The US will release September industrial production on Monday, followed by September data on building permits and housing starts on Tuesday.

Japan will release September trade figures on Wednesday. The euro zone, Britain and Canada will release September inflation.

The US will release October employment and September existing home sales data on Thursday, and Canada will release September new housing prices. Japan will release September core inflation on Friday, Britain will release September retail sales and Germany will release October manufacturing PMI.

Strong earnings lift stocks but inflation a worry

Stocks to watch: SCB Securities recommends stocks with good third-quarter performance, including BBL, KBANK, BDMS and RJH, and stocks set to benefit from the easing of the lockdown, including MINT, ERW, CRC and SPALI. For speculative trading, the broker suggests energy stocks that would gain from rising oil and commodity prices in the short term, such as BCP, PTTEP, TOP and IVL.

Finansia Syrus Securities recommends investing in downstream hemp businesses as share prices of upstream and midstream hemp businesses are becoming fully valued. Interesting downstream hemp stocks include OSP, CBG and ICHI. For midstream businesses, the broker recommends RBF.

Technical view: DBS Vickers Securities sees support at 1,600 points and resistance at 1,660. SCB Securities sees support at 1,627 and resistance at 1,655.

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