Soft Start Eyed For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market on Thursday snapped the four-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 35 points or 2.2 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,635-point plateau and it’s called lower again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed concerns for the outlook on interest rates – although support from crude oil prices should limit the downside. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished slightly lower on Thursday as losses from the financials and cement stocks were mitigated by support from the energy producers.

For the day, the index sank 4.14 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 1,636.49 after trading between 1,635.19 and 1,650.69. Volume was 10.439 billion shares worth 36.622 billion baht. There were 733 decliners and 526 gainers, with 560 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info tumbled 2.75 percent, while Thailand Airport added 0.78 percent, Banpu shed 0.59 percent, Bangkok Bank lost 0.48 percent, Beauty Community plunged 2.76 percent, Bangkok Expressway climbed 1.14 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods skidded 1.96 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.26 percent, Krung Thai Bank fell 0.98 percent, PTT added 0.51 percent, PTT Global Chemical gained 0.32 percent, Siam Commercial Bank slid 0.73 percent, Siam Concrete retreated 1.34 percent and PTT Exploration and Production and Bangkok Medical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks opened lower on Thursday and bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing in the red.

The Dow shed 27.59 points or 0.11 percent to 25,338.84, while the NASDAQ fell 18.51 points or 0.25 percent to 7,273.08 and the S&P 500 lost 5.99 points or 0.22 percent to end at 2,737.80.

The lower close on Wall Street came after the minutes of this month’s Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting seemed to reinforce expectations for another quarter-point increase in interest rates in December. However, the minutes noted a few participants continued to favor gradual increases but expressed uncertainty about their timing.

The early weakness followed some disappointing economic data, including a National Association of Realtors report that unexpectedly showed a big drop in pending home sales in October.

Also, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose to a six-month high in the week ended November 24. And the Commerce Department said personal income and spending both increased by more than expected in October.

Crude oil futures moved higher Thursday on reports Russia will agree on a production cut in the upcoming OPEC and non-OPEC producers meet in Vienna next week. Crude oil futures for January rebounded to end at $51.45 a barrel, gaining $1.16 or 2.3 percent for the session.

Closer to home, Thailand will release October trade data and Q3 numbers for current account later today. In September, imports were worth $18.74 billion and exports were at $20.71 billion for a trade surplus of $1.96 billion. The current account surplus in Q2 was $6.41 billion.

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