The Thai stock market on Monday halted the two-day slide in which it had fallen just over 2 points or 0.2 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand finished just below the 1,230-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting renewed if mild selling pressure at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a hint of weakness, thanks to ongoing credit concerns in Europe. Germany's central bank on Monday reiterated its opposition to the European Central Bank's plan to purchase government bonds. Also, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to meet some of the leaders of the currency bloc this week to request an extension of its fiscal consolidation program. The European and U.S. markets were barely lower, and the Asian bourses may follow suit.
The SET finished modestly higher on Monday following support from the energy producers and a mixed performance from the financial shares.
For the day, the index added 5.09 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 1,229.00 after trading between 1,218.15 and 1,229.80. Volume was 3.255 billion shares worth 20.574 billion baht. There were 318 gainers and 211 decliners, with 156 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, energy giant PTT was up 0.88 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production added 0.66 percent, coal miner Banpu surged 2.20 percent, Kasikornbank shed 0.29 percent, Bangkok Bank collected 0.25 percent and Siam Commercial Bank was flat.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks moved back to the upside on Monday after moving moderately lower in early trade, ending nearly flat. A relatively light day on both the corporate and economic news fronts contributed to the lackluster performance, as did profit taking.
The pullback came after the Dow ended the previous session at its best closing level in over three months. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 reached four-month closing highs last Friday.
Disappointing quarterly results from Lowe's (LOW) also generated some negative sentiment, with the home improvement retailer reporting Q2 earnings of $0.64 per share on sales of $14.3 billion, while analysts had expected earnings of $0.70 per share on sales of $14.5 billion. The company also lowered its full-year earnings guidance.
Selling pressure waned not long after the open, as traders seemed somewhat reluctant to sell stocks and miss out of any further upside for the markets. Stocks subsequently climbed well off their worst levels, although buying interest also remained subdued, leading to the roughly flat close.
Among individual stocks, shares of Coventry Health Care (CVH) moved sharply higher after the health insurer agreed to be acquired by rival Aetna (AET) in a transaction valued at $7.3 billion, including the assumption of Coventry debt.
The major U.S. averages ended Monday almost unchanged, showing moves of less than a tenth of a percent. The Dow dipped 3.56 points to finish at 13,271.64, while the NASDAQ edged down 0.38 points to end at 3,076.21 and the S&P 500 inched down 0.03 points to close at 1,418.13.
In economic news, Thailand's gross domestic product advanced 4.2 percent on year in the second quarter of 2012, the National Economic and Social Development Board said on Monday, beating expectations for an expansion of 3.1 percent. The annual increase follows a revised 0.4 percent growth in the first quarter. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 3.3 percent, slower than the 10.8 percent three months prior.
The government projects the economy to grow in the range of 5.5 percent to 6 percent this year, down from the 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent estimated previously. The growth outlook for exports was trimmed sharply to 7.3 percent from 15.1 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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