All eyes on US job data for clues as to where the Fed is heading

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Summary: US stock futures rose yesterday while European markets were mixed as investors watched key euro zone economic indicators and waited for a US labor market report that could determine when the Federal Reserve will begin withdrawing its economic stimulus.

Most Asia Pacific stocks rose slightly, while Chinese stocks fell on concerns about slowing growth. In Tokyo, the Nikkei rose to a three-decade high after embattled Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced he was stepping down later this month.

The SET index hovered between 1,621.42 and 1,657.79 points this week before closing at 1,650.33 yesterday, 2.4% more than the previous week, with daily sales averaging 106.62 billion baht .

Foreign investors were net buyers of 9.87 billion baht and brokerage firms bought shares worth 1.12 billion baht. Retail investors were net sellers of 10.52 billion and institutional investors dumped stocks valued at 474.68 million baht.

Newsmaker: U.S. economic growth is expected to decline from 6.5% year-over-year in the second quarter to 2.9% in the third quarter, Morgan Stanley economists say, amid stimulus spending and a reopening-fueled surge in activity ease up.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment benefits fell last week, while layoffs fell to their lowest level in 24 years in August, suggesting that the job market is moving forward despite the surge in new infections with Covid.

President Joe Biden’s administration on Tuesday announced plans to open more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration after a court ruled against the government’s lease hiatus.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stepping down after less than a year in office. Mr Suga told members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that he would not vote in their leadership elections later this month.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced plans to set up a new exchange in Beijing and additional pilot zones for digital trading to expand the country’s role as a global service hub.

China plans to propose new rules that would prohibit companies with large amounts of sensitive consumer data from going public in the US, sources say.

Beijing has embarked on a two-month campaign to crack down on commercial platforms and social media accounts that post financial information believed to be “harmful” to China’s economy.

Regional super app Grab is launching an online supermarket in the Philippines to go beyond food delivery and ridesharing to drive sales.

The leading Japanese air carriers ANA and Japan Airlines plan to introduce commercial drone services to provide medical care and daily necessities to people in remote areas of Japan.

Singapore has joined the growing list of countries cracking down on Binance. The world’s largest crypto exchange offers non-licensed residents of Singapore payment services, the Singapore monetary authority announced on Thursday.

China’s Sinopec Corp plans to spend 30 billion yuan ($ 4.6 billion) on hydrogen energy by 2025 to become a climate neutral utility by 2050.

Forrest Li, the billionaire co-founder of Sea Ltd, the parent company of Shopee and games portal Garena, became the richest person in Singapore with a net worth of nearly $ 20 billion when his company’s shares soared.

Southeast Asia, led by Indonesia, has gained 70 million new online shoppers since the pandemic began, according to an annual report by Facebook and Bain & Co.

The Hong Kong government is facing growing pressure from companies to open borders or risk losing talent and investment. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam has defended the three-week hotel quarantine, saying restrictions are needed to open up to mainland China.

Gold saw small gains this week, buoyed by a weaker dollar that surged above $ 1,810 an ounce as investors waited for US jobs data to gauge how that might affect the Fed’s plans to cut incentives.

The Thai economy was increasingly affected by the Covid outbreak and related restrictions in July, but fiscal policies and exports offered some support, the Bank of Thailand said on Tuesday.

The government debt ceiling of 60% of GDP could be raised if necessary, says the head of a government committee that is creating a 5-year debt management plan. The debt-to-GDP ratio was 55.6% in July, up from 55.2% in June, and is projected to reach 58% by the end of fiscal 2021 on September 30th.

Private investment declined in July due to the ongoing pandemic, but exports rose for the fifth straight month, the Fiscal Policy Office said.

The production index of the manufacturing sector (MPI) rose in July thanks to the export growth for the fifth month in a row by 5.12% to 91.41 points compared to the previous year.

The Federation of Thai Industries is working with governments and universities on bio, circular and green (BCG) economic development projects in five industries to increase Thailand’s GDP to 4.4 trillion baht in six years.

The Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association announced on Friday that they would be offering more support measures to debtors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bank of Thailand has launched a new debt counseling program, Debt Doctor, to provide comprehensive financial advice to borrowers affected by a pandemic.

The Joint Standing Committee on Trade, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) on Wednesday raised its economic forecast for 2021 to a decline of 0.5% to 1% growth from an earlier range of minus 1.5% to zero.

The Treasury Department expects around 100 foreign e-service providers to register to pay VAT in Thailand under a new law that went into effect on September 1. So far 69 foreign e-service operators have registered, including 20 giant operators of online platforms.

Siam Makro Plc’s shares rose 24% after the country’s largest cash-and-carry store operator launched a $ 218 billion plan.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has defended the country’s reopening plan, saying that Bangkok and four other provinces – Chon Buri (Pattaya), Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Chiang Mai – should be ready for vaccinated international visitors from October .

Pattaya hopes to introduce quarantine-free travel for foreign visitors on sealed routes to increase its attractiveness. Hua Hin also aims to reopen on October 1st with a quarantine-free approach similar to the Phuket sandpit.

The Phu Nam Rome border crossing in Kanchanaburi was reopened on Wednesday for goods transport between Thailand and Myanmar. The government is in talks with neighboring countries to reopen as many checkpoints as possible to stimulate cross-border trade, which has been healthy despite the pandemic.

Thailand should open up to Indian tourists after the Covid infections on the subcontinent have improved significantly as the pent-up demand begins to flood into other countries, says the Thailand tourism authority.

Travel exporters are increasingly concerned about the prospects for Thai Hom Mali rice because of expensive freight rates and higher shipments. A global shortage of containers has tripled freight rates to the United States since before the pandemic.

Come on: The UK will publish August construction activity on Monday. The Reserve Bank of Australia will announce its rate decision on Tuesday and Germany will publish economic sentiment in September. Also due on the same day are the revised second quarter GDP data for the euro zone and the Chinese trade data for August.

Japan will publish its GDP for the second quarter on Wednesday. The US will post job vacancies in July and the Bank of Canada will announce its interest rate decision.

The European Central Bank will announce its latest policy decisions on Thursday. The UK will release manufacturing and industrial production and trade figures for July on Friday. Canada will publish employment data for August.

Watch stocks: UOB Kay Hian Securities recommends communications stocks and REITs as defensive measures amid growing market concerns about weak earnings in the second half of the year. She recommends gradually creating communication inventories such as ADVANC, DTAC, FTREIT and WHART, supply values ​​such as GULF, GPSC, EGCO, RATCH, EASTW, WHAUP and TTW as well as food and agricultural inventories such as TVO, TU, CPF, GFPT and TWPC. It also recommends speculation about shipping inventory like PSL, TTA and RCL and packing groups like SCGP and BGC.

Yuanta Securities recommends stocks of companies that have raised their forecasts or adjusted their price targets after the earnings announcement for the second quarter but are still cheap, such as SCC, SYNEX and SC. Stocks that are expected to benefit from the relatively low-priced lockdown easing include AMATA, BAM, and WHA.

Technical view: Capital Nomura Securities sees support at 1,621 points and resistance at 1,660 points. Thanachart Securities sees support at 1,632 and resistance at 1,668.


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