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Thai Sept consumer mood drops for first time in 5 months, protests weigh

Thai Sept consumer mood drops for first time in 5 months, protests weigh

BANGKOK, Oct 8 (Reuters)Thai consumer confidence dropped in September for the first time in five months on concerns about growing political protests, a slow economic recovery and job losses from the coronavirus pandemic, a university survey showed on Thursday.

The consumer index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce fell to 50.2 in September from 51.0 in August.

“Various political gatherings made people have no confidence in government stability,” while the surprise exit of the country’s finance minister last month was negative, university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing.

Demonstrators have rallied against the military-backed government in larger numbers in recent months, with some also calling for reforms of the powerful monarchy. The next big protest is set for Oct. 14.

Consumers felt the economic situation remained bad as tourism has yet to recover, Thanavath said.

“If the situation does not improve, there may be more than 500,000 job cuts in the sector in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Thailand has recorded no foreign tourists since April and relatively few infections due to a travel ban designed to keep the coronavirus at bay.

It aims to receive its first visitors later this month as part of an incremental reopening, but only a small fraction of the usual influx.

Recent government stimulus measures are positive, but most consumers felt the economy would recover in the second half of next year, Thanavath said.

The university predicts Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy to contract 7%-9% this year before growing 3%-4% next year, he said.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

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Sri Lankan shares end lower as consumer, financial stocks weigh

Sri Lankan shares end lower as consumer, financial stocks weigh

Oct 6 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares closed lower again on Tuesday, weighed down by consumer and financial stocks, a day after posting their worst session in more than 16 years due to a resurgence in domestic coronavirus cases.

** The benchmark stock index ended down 0.94% at 5,534.61.

** Investment firm Bukit Darah Plc and carbonated drink producer Ceylon Cold Stores Plc shed 13.4% and 4.7%, respectively, and were the top drags on the index.

** Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc added 0.7%, capping losses.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index fell to 163.32 million from 268.77 million a day earlier.

** Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing 92.1 million rupees ($499,051.75) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 184.55 against the U.S. dollar as of 1240 GMT, 0.05% higher for the day compared to last session’s close of 184.65, according to Refinitiv data.

** Equity market turnover was 2.80 billion rupees on Tuesday, data showed.

** For a report on global markets, click

** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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