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Mild Upside Predicted For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 20 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,740-point plateau and it may inch higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with any upside limited by sliding crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished barely higher on Thursday as gains from the energy producers were offset by weakness from the financials.

For the day, he index added 1.02 points or 0.06 percent to finish at 1,740.45 after trading between 1,738.63 and 1,748.15. Volume was 20.671 billion shares worth 69.148 billion baht. There were 749 decliners and 687 gainers, with 501 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.46 percent, while Thailand Airport lost 0.67 percent, Banpu added 0.69 percent, Bangkok Bank fell 0.76 percent, Bangkok Expressway tumbled 1.79 percent, BTS Group sank 0.79 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods retreated 0.83 percent, Kasikornbank slid 0.53 percent, Krung Thai Bank was down 0.52 percent, PTT Exploration and Production climbed 1.12 percent, Siam Commercial Bank dropped 0.36 percent, Siam Concrete collected 0.44 percent, TMB Bank jumped 1.58 percent and Bangkok Medical, PTT and PTT Global Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is inconclusive as stocks fluctuated Thursday before ending mixed, with the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

The Dow added 227.88 points or 0.85 percent to 27,088.08, while the NASDAQ fell 6.49 points or 0.08 percent to 8,196.04 and the S&P 500 rose 6.84 points or 0.23 percent to 2,999.91.

The advance by the Dow was fueled by health insurers on news that President Donald Trump is abandoning a plan to eliminate rebates from government drug plans. The proposal faced stiff resistance from pharmacy-benefit managers, and pharmaceutical stocks tumbled on the news

In economic news, the Labor Department reported an unexpected uptick in U.S. consumer prices in June. The Labor Department also said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell in the week ended July 6.

Crude oil futures turned weak after a solid start on Thursday, weighed down by a downward revision in demand forecast by OPEC. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended down $0.23 or 0.4 percent at $60.20 a barrel.

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