Thai stock market faces sell-offs after Fed signaling interest rate hike, fresh Covid wave

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index fell over 20 points on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve hinted that interest rates might be raised sooner than expected to tackle rising inflation, along with surging local Omicron cases.

After a couple days of gain in the first week of the year, the SET index dipped to 1,654.52 points in the early trading hours, before settling at around 1661.59, down 15.20 points, as of 11.40 am.

“Fed minutes triggered fears of a sooner-than-expected rate hike to curb inflation,” analysts at Krungsri securities said in a note. 

Krungsri also cited a recent surge in domestics Covid-19 cases, which the Omicron variant has spread in many areas, as a pressure to the stock market. 

The drop was led by electronic manufacturer KCE Electronics (KCE) falling 4.8 per cent, while Hana Microelectronics (HANA) dipping 4.91 per cent. 

Logistics firm JWD InfoLogistics (JWD), which rose robustly earlier from e-commerce sentiment, also plunged by 7.33 per cent. 

However, stocks related to healthcare trends rose despite a border dive given more Covid infections would boost the company’s earnings. Intermedical Care and Lab (IMH) gained 7.30 per cent, while Saintmed (SMD) rose 3.38 per cent. 

Hospital stocks such as Srivichai Vejvivat (VIH), Bangkok Chain Hospital (BCH), and Chularat Hospital (CHG) also jumped by 6.25, 4.59, 3.89 per cent, respectively. 


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