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Oil Companies May Boost Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, although it has fallen not quite 2 points or 0.1 percent in that span. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just beneath the 1,675-point plateau and it may open higher on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests slight upside, thanks mainly to a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The SET finished barely lower on Monday following losses from the cement stocks, support from the energy producers and a mixed picture from the financials.

For the day, the index eased 0.62 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 1,673.48 after trading between 1,673.44 and 1,683.79. Volume was 12.461 billion shares worth 47.075 billion baht. There were 852 decliners and 458 gainers, with 472 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info skidded 1.05 percent, while Thailand Airport shed 0.72 percent, Bangkok Medical tumbled 1.94 percent, BTS Group advanced 0.87 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.26 percent, Krung Thai Bank climbed 1.04 percent, PTT perked 1.55 percent, PTT Exploration and Production spiked 1.90 percent, PTT Global Chemical rose 0.71 percent, Siam Commercial Bank sank 0.39 percent, Siam Concrete lost 0.43 percent, TMB Bank gained 0.97 percent and Charoen Pokphand Foods, Bangkok Bank, Banpu and Bangkok Expressway were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is ambiguous as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 48.49 points or 0.18 percent to finish at 26,511.05, while the NASDAQ added 17.21 points or 0.22 percent to 8,015.27 and the S&P 500 rose 2.94 points or 0.10 percent to 2,907.97.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of earnings news in the coming days from the likes of Coca-Cola (KO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Boeing (BA), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Intel (INTC), and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

The Easter Monday holiday, which has kept many overseas markets closed on the day, also contributed to light trading activity.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported a significant pullback in existing home sales in March after sales had reached their highest level in almost a year in February.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday after the U.S. ended the waivers it had offered to major importers of Iranian oil. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures soared to $65.91 a barrel at one stage, gaining more than 3 percent, before settling at $65.70 on expiration day, up $1.70 or 2.66 percent.

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