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Thai Stock Market May Extend Winning Streak

The Thai stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, collecting more than 15 points or 1 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests right at the 1,675-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The SET finished slightly higher on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index added 1.80 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 1,675.00 after trading between 1,667.70 and 1,677.14. Volume was 10.628 billion shares worth 47.335 billion baht. There were 662 decliners and 601 gainers, with 511 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.52 percent, while Thailand Airport added 0.36 percent, Banpu lost 0.62 percent, Bangkok Bank dropped 0.95 percent, Bangkok Medical spiked 1.98 percent, Bangkok Expressway advanced 0.97 percent, BTS Group perked 0.86 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods gathered 0.98 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.78 percent, PTT gained 0.52 percent, PTT Exploration and Production climbed 0.76 percent, PTT Global Chemical sank 1.07 percent, Siam Commercial Bank tumbled 1.16 percent, Siam Cement slid 0.43 percent and TMB Bank and Krung Thai Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks continued to show a lack of direction on Thursday before ending slightly higher.

The Dow added 110.00 points or 0.42 percent to 26,559.54, while the NASDAQ gained 1.98 points or 0.02 percent to 7,998.06 and the S&P rose 4.58 points or 0.16 percent to 2,905.03. For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow advanced 0.6 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.2 percent and the S&P fell 0.1 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves going into the long Easter weekend.

They were also looking ahead to next week's quarterly earnings news from companies like Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Boeing (BA), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

In economic news, the Commerce Department said retail sales rebounded more than expected in March. Also, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims dipped last week to a nearly 50-year low.

Crude oil futures edged higher on Thursday, with traders weighing near term crude supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.24 or 0.4 percent at $64.00 a barrel.

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