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Finance: Track price action, not pundits’ talk

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Finance: Track price action, not pundits’ talk | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: As I am writing this, I haven’t turned on a TV in more than 10 days. So I am not getting any news from a verbal source about nuclear confrontations with North Korea, Trump uncertainty or whatever else is going on in the world. However, I have been reading the news and it’s different when you read news versus just listening to people talk on TV.

I am also watching for the price action of the market, key indices and stocks. What I see is that despite all the scary news and uncertainty, the market appears to be coiled with many key indices or stocks about to spring forward.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, just consider the following signs about what is going right.

Track the iShares North American Tech-Software ETF (NYSEARCA: IGV) performance. This focuses on a high growth sector and its performance gives a better indicator about stocks than anything we would get from watching CNN, CNBC or any other ‘news’ channel. IGV is where the big strong growth companies and leadership stocks exist and it’s hitting all-time highs as of the end of April. If IGV were to break down, then I would be raising cash.

Secondly, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) has broken out. While it is a global Internet behemoth, right now it has one of the most bullish charts in the market as compared to just before the US elections. BABA then pulled back a bit only to hit a yearly high and now sits just below all-time highs and is above its IPO debut for retail investors.

Observe how other stocks have powered higher. Stocks such as online travel giant Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN) and life sciences cloud computing stock Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) have continued to act well with PCLN up 25 per cent since the start of the year and VEEV up 31 per cent (as of the end of April).

Look for tight lines on technical charts. Looking over the technical charts for leadership stocks such as Alibaba, Priceline Group, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), we see no evidence that ‘smart money’ investors are selling shares or taking profits off the table.

Observe the Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) technical chart. Netflix is a good example of a stock hitting all-time highs and yet, not many investors are cashing out by selling shares. This means most investors believe its run-up is not over.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) looks resilient. Amazon is a juggernaut and since the US elections, it’s steadily powered higher as more traditional brick and mortar retailers continue to struggle to compete with it. AMZN’s chart also looks similar to Netflix as it steadily moves higher.

I am keeping an eye out for the overall S&P 500 index to finally break out of a two to three year bottoming formation to (more than likely) stair step to higher levels. If that were to happen, even weaker non-leadership stocks would likely be taken along for the ride.

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 over 20 years of 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 email: freeman capital@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.

Business

Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.vietjetair.com

Thai Vietjet, which currently operates 13 domestic routes within Thailand, is launching a new “Deluxe” product, starting from 999 baht. The “Deluxe” tickets will include 7 kilos of carry-on and 20 kilos of checked luggage (currently an additional charge), as well as seat selection and priority check-in. Date, route and flight changes are also permitted 1 time, free of charge.

Deluxe fares are available for travel between October 6 and December 31, excluding public holidays, on all domestic routes operated by the carrier. The 999 baht price tag does not include taxes and fees. Thai Vietjet is adding a number of new routes to its current network, including Chiang Rai to Hat Yai from November 1, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, and Surat Thani from November 4.

The airline’s full network of domestic routes can be viewed at www.vietjetair.com. It also operates a number of international routes between Thailand and Vietnam and between Thailand and China, but not at the moment.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Economy

Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

The Thaiger

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Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand | The Thaiger

Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach a growth rate of 2% this year.

Fuelled by manufactured exports, the Vietnam economy has dropped back to a trickle. The Asian Development Bank estimates that this year’s GDP growth could be as low as 1.8%. The Vietnamese factories, that usually crank out shoes, garments, furniture and cheap electronics, are seeing dropping demand as the world’s consumer confidence drops dramatically.

Stay-at-home rules in Europe and America are keeping are keeping people away from retail stores. And despite the acceleration of online retail, many of the consumers are emerging from the Covid Spring and Summer with vastly reduced spending power.

The headaches of 2020 are also challenging Vietnam to maintain its reputation as south east Asia’s manufacturing hotspot. Rising costs and xenophobic foreign policy have put China ‘on the nose’ with some governments, complicating factory work in China, whilst other south east Asian countries lack infrastructure and are incurring higher wage costs.

One Vietnamese factory operated by Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, which produces footwear for top international brands, has laid off 150 workers earlier this year. There are hundreds more examples of the impact of falling demand in the bustling Vietnamese manufacturing economy.

Vietnam’s border closure is also preventing investors from making trips, setting up meetings and pushing projects forward. Those projects in turn create jobs, fostering Vietnam’s growing middle class. Tourism has also been badly affected by the restrictions on travel. “International tourism is dead,” says Jack Nguyen, a partner at Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Inbound tourism usually makes up 6% of the economy.”

“Things will only pick up only when the borders are open and there’s no quarantine requirements. Who knows when that’s going to be.”

A mid-year COVID-19 outbreak in the coastal resort city Danang followed by the start of the school year has reduced domestic travel, analysts say. Some of the country’s hotels are up for sale as a result.

“Recovery could take 4 years.”

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is now warning that global post-pandemic recovery could take as long as 4 years, perhaps more.

Not that foreign investors in the country are pulling out. Indeed, many are tainge a long-term view that Vietnam’s underlying strengths will outlive Covid-19. Vietnam reports just 1,069 coronavirus cases overall.

SOURCE: VOA News

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Thailand

Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub

The Thaiger

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Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub | The Thaiger

Thai AirAsia is spreading its Bangkok wings and opening up a secondary hub at the main Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), to help broaden its attraction and bolster its bottomline. Thai Air Asia was the first airline to head back to the moth-balled Don Mueang in 2012 to re-establish the older airport after all the airlines moved across to the new Suvarnabhumi and discount airlines were seeking a lower-cost base.

Although Thai Air Asia carried 22.15 million passengers last year, this year’s total will fall a long way short, just 6 million for 2020 up to date. Under the new set up, Thai AirAsia will have resumed nearly 90% of its pre-Covid domestic services, a total of 109 daily flights to 39 destinations. There will be 97 flights from Don Mueang Airport and 12 from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

With only a handful of international traffic, Suvarnabhumi officials are keen to re-kindle revenue for the massive airport and have struck a deal with Thai Air Asia to trial operations from BKK. They will be the only domestic carrier to operate flights from the two airports.

If the 2 month trial at Suvarnabhumi is successful, Thai AirAsia plans to add another plane to the BKK fleet by the end of the year. At this stage the trial is only approved up to the end of November.

Thai Air Asia have been concentrating on their ‘bus’ model to ferry passengers from the terminals to their aircraft waiting on remote airport aprons, and visa versa, to avoid some of the landing charges and using the sky-bridges. Some passengers have been complaining about the long trips in crowded buses, wild rides and over-enthusiastic air conditioning, whilst being told to strictly adhere to social distancing.

This week the Malaysian parent company Air Asia, announced the introduction of a ‘super app’, in an attempt to off-set the significant financial losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The mobile application shuffles Air Asia’s model as a flight and accommodation provider, to a broader platform of complimentary services. The app will offer users a variety of options, including digital payment services, delivery services, and an e-commerce platform. Air Asia Chief Executive and founder, Tony Fernandes, says the idea for the app was floated prior to the pandemic, but Covid-19 hastened its development.

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