The Thai stock market has moved lower in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 15 points or 1.4 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand ended just above the 1,255-point plateau, and now analysts are predicting renewed support at the opening of trade on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive, following the long-awaited announcement of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The Fed announced a plan to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. The European markets were mixed ahead of the Fed's announcement and the U.S. bourses were sharply higher - and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.
The SET finished slightly lower on Thursday following weakness from the energy producers and a mixed performance from the financial shares.
For the day, the index shed 2.27 points or 0.18 percent to finish at 1,257.69 after trading between 1,253.81 and 1,262.06. Volume was 5.239 billion shares worth 31.607 billion baht. There were 325 decliners and 244 gainers, with 149 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, energy giant PTT was down 0.30 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production lost 0.66 percent, PTT Global Chemicals plummeted 2.39 percent, coal miner Banpu fell 1.38 percent, Siam Concrete dipped 0.30 percent, Bangkok Bank retreated 0.77 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.85 percent and Siam Commercial Bank was flat.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved substantially higher on Thursday in a positive reaction to the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement - in which it said it plans to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.
The Fed also announced the continuation of its "Operation Twist" program, saying that the actions taken together will increase the central bank's holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year.
Looking ahead, the Fed said it would continue its purchases of mortgage-backed securities until the outlook for the labor market improves substantially. The central bank also left interest rates at near-zero levels and said exceptionally low rates are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015.
With the focus on the Fed, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing a bigger than expected increase in weekly jobless claims. A separate report from the Labor Department showed that a substantial rebound in energy prices contributed to a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in the month of August.
The major U.S. averages were sharply higher on Thursday as the Dow jumped 206.51 points or 1.6 percent to finish at 13,539.86, while the NASDAQ surged 41.52 points or 1.3 percent to end at 3,155.83 and the S&P 500 soared 23.43 points or 1.6 percent to close at 1,459.99. With the strong gains on the day, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached their best closing levels in well over four years, while the NASDAQ reached a nearly twelve-year closing high.
by RTT Staff Writer
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