The Thai stock market has moved higher now in back-to-back sessions, climbing more than 20 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand ended just below the 1,280-point plateau, and now traders are expected to pocket those gains when the market opens on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft, with investors expected to lock in gains after rallying in recent sessions. Adding to the cautious sentiment are weak economic data from the U.S. and concerns of an escalation of hostilities between China and Japan over a group of disputed islands. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.
The SET finished slightly higher on Monday following gains from the energy producers and a mixed performance from the financial shares.
For the day, the index was up 2.42 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 1,278.54 after trading between 1,274.18 and 1,282.22. Volume was 8.595 billion shares worth 42.213 billion baht. There were 297 decliners and 272 gainers, with 153 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, energy giant PTT was up 1.79 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production surged 4.55 percent, PTT Global Chemicals spiked 2.35 percent, coal miner Banpu soared 3.14 percent, Siam Concrete jumped 1.46 percent, Bangkok Bank collected 0.26 percent, Kasikornbank shed 0.54 percent and Siam Commercial Bank collected 0.31 percent.
The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks moved mostly lower on Monday, with traders cashing in on last week's Federal Reserve-inspired rally. Selling pressure remained relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets.
Profit taking contributed to the weakness, which came after recent gains lifted the major averages to multi-year highs. The Dow and the S&P 500 both ended Friday's trading at their best closing levels in over four years, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ reached a nearly 12-year closing high.
Last week's rally followed the Federal Reserve's announcement of its plans to launch a third round of quantitative easing in an effort to boost the sluggish economy. The Fed said it would purchase additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month, and it will continue the purchases until the outlook for the labor market improves.
Disappointing manufacturing data also helped to drag stocks lower, with the New York Federal Reserve reporting that conditions for New York manufacturers have deteriorated further in September. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to -10.41 in September from -5.85 in August, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had been expecting -2.0.
In corporate news, shares of Lowe's (LOW) closed moderately lower after the home improvement retailer announced that it has withdrawn its offer to acquire Canadian rival Rona for C$14.50 per share in cash.
The major U.S. averages were in the red on Monday as the Dow fell 40.27 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 13,553.10, while the NASDAQ edged down 5.28 points or 0.2 percent to end at 3,178.67 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.58 points or 0.3 percent to close at 1,461.19.
by RTT Staff Writer
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