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Thai Market Overdue For Correction

The Thai stock market has finished higher now in five straight sessions, rising more than 45 points or 3.3 percent in that span. The Stock Exchange of Thailand closed just below the 1,480-point plateau, and now traders may be tempted to lock in gains when the market opens on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed with a slightly positive bias, as decent earnings news may be offset by caution ahead of the FOMC rate decision and GDP data from the United States later today. Technology stocks in particular may weigh. The European and U.S. markets were mixed to higher, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that led.

The SET finished modestly higher again on Tuesday on support from the energy producers and the airlines, while the financial shares finished mixed.

For the day, the index gained 6.72 points or 0.46 percent to finish at 1,478.77 after trading between 1,468.08 and 1,480.19. Volume was 12.068 billion shares worth 56.146 billion baht. There were 338 decliners and 296 gainers, with 152 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, energy giant PTT was up 1.21 percent, while PTT Exploration and Production was flat, PTT Global Chemicals added 0.32 percent, coal miner Banpu shed 0.26 percent, Siam Concrete lost 0.87 percent, Thai Airways gained 0.44 percent, Bangkok Bank dropped 1.89 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.51 percent and Siam Commercial Bank fell 0.55 percent.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as upbeat earnings news pushed stocks mostly higher on Tuesday, although the major averages finished mixed, as weakness in the tech sector contributed to a slim loss by the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

The strength reflected a positive reaction to earnings news, although interest remained subdued. Drug giant Pfizer (PFE) posted a notable gain after reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings.

Tupperware (TUP), Beazer Homes (BZH) and Eli Lilly (LLY) also showed strong moves to the upside after releasing their quarterly results.

At the same time, shares of Ford (F) fell after the auto giant reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings but forecast a wider than previously estimated loss in Europe in 2013. Yahoo (YHOO) also moved lower despite reporting Q4 results that beat estimates.

Traders largely shrugged off a report from the Conference Board showing that U.S. consumer confidence fell to a fourteen-month low in January. The consumer confidence index tumbled to 58.6 in January from an upwardly revised 66.7 in December - falling to its lowest level since November 2011.

The major U.S. averages were mixed on Tuesday as the Dow rose 72.49 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 13,954.42, while the S&P 500 climbed 7.66 points or 0.5 percent to close at 1,507.84 and the NASDAQ eased 0.64 points or less than a tenth of a percent to end at 3,153.66.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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