The Thailand country-specific ETF plunged Wednesday, with Thai equities experiencing their worst day since 2014, as a growing number of confirmed coronavirus cases spread fear in the market.
The iShares MSCI Thailand ETF (NYSEArca: THD) was among the worst performing non-leveraged ETFs of Wednesday, falling 3.9%.
Thailand’s equity benchmark index, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index, hit its lowest intraday threshold in over three years on Wednesday, dipping below the 1,400 point marker.
Thailand confirmed three more novel coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total to 40, after testing people returning from Hokkaido in Japan where they are thought to have contracted the virus, Bloomberg reports.
Permanent Health Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai, though, reassured the public that there is no widespread community transmission of the virus in Thailand yet.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stated that the virus has been classified as a dangerous communicable disease. Consequently, anybody with suspect symptoms after visiting a high-risk country is required to report to the authorities.
The coronavirus or COVID-19 has dented Thailand’s tourism-heavy economy, weighing on both the country’s equity market and currency. Underscoring the potential hit to Thailand’s tourism, Anutin has also warned of the need to reduce travel as a preventive measure in spreading the coronavirus.
“For the airlines, please reduce promotions,” Anutin said. “Even though tickets are cheap, it could be your last holiday.”
While Thailand has not banned incoming flights from affected areas, Anutin said “we’re going to fight with all the tools that we have.” The Health Minister has also previously warned that Thailand is at risk of a widespread outbreak and the the situation “isn’t good.”
“Those who are planning to travel abroad in this period, if it’s possible to avoid that, please avoid it,” Anutin wrote in a Facebook post. “We are entering a full war with Covid-19.”
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