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Thai Stocks Inherit Flat Lead For Wednesday

The Thai stock market on Tuesday halted the three-day slide in which it had fallen almost 20 points or 1.2 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,630-point plateau although it may head south again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement ahead of the FOMC interest rate decision later today. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The SET finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index climbed 12.52 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 1,630.09 after trading between 1,617.01 and 1,633.26. Volume was 13.414 billion shares worth 36.466 billion baht. There were 867 decliners and 501 gainers, with 436 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info added 0.83 percent, while Thailand Airport climbed 1.12 percent, Banpu jumped 1.27 percent, Bangkok Medical shed 0.43 percent, BTS Group sank 0.93 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods tumbled 1.92 percent, Kasikornbank advanced 1.06 percent, Krung Thai Bank accelerated 1.08 percent, PTT perked 1.57 percent, PTT Exploration and Production spiked 1.67 percent, PTT Global Chemical added 0.74 percent, Siam Commercial Bank collected 0.76 percent, Siam Concrete rose 0.42 percent and TMB Bank, Bangkok Bank and Bangkok Expressway were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages shook off an early spike Tuesday and finished roughly flat.

The Dow shed 26.72 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 25,887.38, while the NASDAQ added 9.47 points or 0.12 percent to 7,723.95 and the S&P 500 fell 0.37 points or 0.01 percent to 2,832.57.

The early strength on Wall Street partly reflected continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks, although that ebbed on reports that China is pushing back against American demands.

Traders were also reluctant to make big moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later today. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, although the accompanying statement may provide clues about the outlook for rates.

Crude oil futures settled marginally lower on Tuesday, as traders weighed the supply and demand situation in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.06 or 0.1 percent at $59.03 a barrel.

Closer to home, the central bank in Thailand will wrap up its monetary policy meeting later today and then announce its decision on interest rates; the bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1.75 percent.

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