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Soft Start Seen For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, rising more than 25 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just above the 1,670-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless, with trade uncertainties offset by rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed but little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow that lead.

The SET finished slightly higher on Monday following gains from the energy producers and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index was up 1.16 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 1,671.22 after trading between 1,666.61 and 1,676.62. Volume was 16.597 billion shares worth 46.745 billion baht. There were 925 decliners and 456 gainers, with 505 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Bangkok Bank collected 0.30 percent, while Bangkok Medical soared 3.38 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods shed 0.85 percent, Kasikornbank climbed 1.26 percent, PTT advanced 1.12 percent, PTT Global Chemical fell 0.47 percent, Siam Commercial Bank sank 0.43 percent, Siam Concrete jumped 1.44 percent, TMB Bank dropped 1.27 percent and Advanced Info, Thailand Airport, Banpu, Bangkok Expressway, BTS Group, Krung Thai Bank and PTT Exploration and Production all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing mixed.

The Dow added 38.05 points or 0.14 percent to 26,835.51, while the NASDAQ lost 15.64 points or 0.19 percent to 8,087.44 and the S&P 500 fell 0.28 points or 0.01 percent to 2,978.43.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid a light day on the U.S. economic front, with a lack of major data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Traders expressed some optimism about further stimulus from global central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to cut interest rates on Thursday. Expectations for another interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week were also bolstered by last Friday's weaker than expected jobs data.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday, riding comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to support output cuts by OPEC and other producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.33 or 2.4 percent at $57.85 a barrel.

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