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Finance: The right time to get back into the stock market

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Finance: The right time to get back into the stock market | The Thaiger

PHUKET: While all of my long term clients (and myself) have been in cash for some time, there will be a time to get back into the stock market, but when will that be?

To recap recent market action: major United States and global indices have already moved higher off their panic February lows, led by retail, gold, materials and oil stocks. In fact, last year’s big sector and stock losers (down 50 per cent or more) have been among some of the biggest gainers during the recent four or five-week rally that has moved markets back up to December levels.

However, you need to keep the following key market indicators in mind before you get overly excited about this ‘rally’.

The 200 day moving average is still sloping down in all US indices. When this occurs, the probability of ‘bad things’ occurring in the future is higher than if the moving average were sloping upward.

The 2,100 level on the S&P 500 Index needs to be watched, because if the bulls can move the index above this level, strong leadership stocks will develop and the recent rally might actually be sustainable.

The US Russell 2000, a small cap index, along with the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA: XLF) technical chart, also need to be watched, because (as of mid-March), both were sitting at a levels that had been key supports. However, both plunged through their support levels earlier this year, before recently bouncing back, with the bears hoping that both run into resistance and roll over to retest recent lows.

Oil charts continue to show a down-trending mess, albeit there has been a recent short-term double-bottom with prices moving higher off of that. It remains to be seen whether oil is actually in recovery, or about to roll over and head still lower.

I will replant cash back into long-term stocks and funds only when the market clearly transitions back into a healthy uptrend. That will be when the 200-day moving average is sloping upward, leading stocks are forming sound technical bases, and strong sectors begin to emerge or lead the defensive industries.

Keeping an eye on the price action of leading stocks and sectors during the next one or two months will also be important to determine whether the market heads higher or once again rolls over.
Of course, there are still a number of risks that could hit the markets in the form of an unusually volatile US Presidential election (between a populist and an establishment figure who are both widely disliked); North Korea launching more nuclear missiles; the seemingly endless mess in Syria (along with the refuge crisis it has helped to fuel); and global monetary policy.

The latter in particular is worth a closer look, especially with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s recent announcement of new monetary measures designed to fight sluggish growth and the now-chronic threat of deflation.

Watching European bank stocks like Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB), Exchange Traded Funds such as the SPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF (NYSEARCA: FEU), and the price of European markets, will be the only way to know if these central bankers have the right policies, or if their policies will continue to backfire.

Whether their policies are right or not, Europe is still a mess and the technical charts for key European banking stocks like Deutsche Bank AG look worrisome. The banks grapple with the fallout from, or prospect of, negative interest rates.

Again, patience is important in the current stock market environment, as the price action will tell us what the next market move will be, along with what your next move should be as an investor.

Don Freeman, BSME, is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket. He has more than 15 years’ experience working with expatriates, specializing in portfolio management, US tax preparation, financial planning and UK pension transfers. Call for a free portfolio review. Don can be reached at 089-970 5795 or freemancapital@gmail.com.

— Don Freeman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military

Maya Taylor

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Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

Facebook has confirmed the removal of 185 accounts run by the Thai military and allegedly involved in information-influencing. The social media giant says the accounts were deleted for engaging in what it calls, “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. In total, 77 accounts, 72 pages, and 18 groups have been removed from the platform, in addition to 18 Instagram accounts. It’s the first time Facebook has taken such action against accounts linked to the Thai government.

The accounts were associated with the Thai military and were targeting people in the southern provinces, Facebook said its regular report on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The south of the country has been the scene of decades-long conflict, with insurgent groups in the majority-Muslim, Malay-speaking region calling for independence. To date, around 7,000 people have died in the ongoing struggle.

Facebook says the deleted accounts were most active last year and used both fake and real accounts to manage pages and groups, both openly military pages and pages that hid their links to the military. Some of the fake profiles pretended to be people from the southern provinces.

The report mentioned a post by the now-removed account named “comprehending the operation” in Thai. The page posted the logo for Amnesty International Thailand and wrote “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role in society. Normal people are not famous. Any case is not big news. They are not worth the investment of foreigners so they will not do anything to help. This is why we don’t see anything from the NGO.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role nor money.”

On another now-removed account, named “truth about my home Pattani” in Thai, a post said “Muslim leader declares southern border is a peace zone. The southern separatists started a movement by spreading the idea that Thailand is under control by different believers so that people would come and fight for their religion. This was declared that the action clearly violates Islam faith.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “Southern border is not Jihad zone.”

When contacted by Reuters, the military had no comment on the removal of the Facebook accounts, with a spokesman saying the organisation does not comment outside of official press conferences.

The head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, has confirmed the reasons behind the platform’s decision.

“This is the first time that we’ve attributed one of our takedowns to links to the Thai military. We found clear links between this operation and the Internal Security Operations Command. We can see that all of these accounts and groups are tied together as part of this operation.”

He adds that the accounts had spent around US$350 on advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. One or more of the pages had about 700,000 followers and at least one of the groups had 100,000 members. Gleicher says the accounts were removed because of their misleading behaviour and not because of the content being posted. The content included support for the military and the monarchy, with allegations of violence and criticism of insurgent groups in the south.

It’s not the first time accounts linked to the Thai military have been removed by a social media platform. In October, Twitter removed 926 accounts it says had links to the army and posted pro-military and pro-government content. The Thai army has denied any involvement with the accounts in question. In November, Twitter also suspended an account posting pro-monarchy content that was found to have links to the palace and to thousands of other accounts posting similar content.

To read the February 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report, click HERE.

SOURCES: Reuters| Facebook

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Central Thailand

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers

Maya Taylor

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Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

An airline executive has been arrested in the central province of Samut Songkhram, after complaints from150 employees that they had not been paid. Chawengsak Noiprasan, who had a court warrant issued against him in October, was taken to Don Muang police station from a property in the Bang Khan Take sub-district. He is a board member of Siam Air Transport.

The airline began operations in October 2014 with services out of Don Mueang to Hong Kong, using 2 Boeing 737-300s. 2 Boeing 737-800s were added to its fleet in late 2015. It expanded by adding Zhengzhou and Guangzhou in China to its network in early 2015. In late 2015, the airline launched flights to Macau and Singapore. In 2017, the airline ceased all operations.

But according to an article in the Bangkok Post, the carrier operates a number of scheduled and charter flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The Post reports that, as Chawengsak signs the company’s legal paperwork, all legal matters concerning the airline fall to him.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau says the executive has admitted to ignoring a 30 day notice issued by the labour inspector and ordering the payment of wages to 150 workers. It’s understood he is also wanted in relation to 7 other cases.

The authorities sought Chawengsak’s arrest following complaints from employees who say they haven’t received their wages for 2 months. It’s understood the airline had previously deferred salary payments for over 8 months. 150 workers filed an official complaint with Don Mueang police and also approached media outlets, asking them to pressure the airline into paying the money owed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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