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Thai Shares Expected To Be Rangebound Again On Monday

The Thai stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the four-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 25 points or 1.7 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just above the 1,660-point plateau and it's likely to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid a lack of catalysts, although sliding crude oil prices may weigh. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. markets were mostly lower - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index added 1.28 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 1,661.96 after trading between 1,655.95 and 1,667.49. Volume was 20.921 billion shares worth 52.936 billion baht. There were 853 decliners and 712 gainers, with 494 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info added 0.90 percent, while Thailand Airport skidded 1.37 percent, Bangkok Bank tumbled 1.67 percent, Bangkok Medical shed 0.41 percent, BTS Group jumped 1.53 percent, Kasikornbank plunged 2.36 percent, Krung Thai Bank sank 1.13 percent, PTT Exploration and Production climbed 1.24 percent, PTT Global Chemical advanced 0.92 percent, Siam Commercial Bank collected 1.21 percent, TMB Bank plummeted 2.27 percent and Siam Concrete, PTT, Charoen Pokphand Foods, Banpu and Bangkok Expressway were unchanged.

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

The Dow added 37.07 points or 0.14 percent to 27,219.52, while the NASDAQ fell 17.75 points or 0.22 percent and the S&P 500 lost 2.18 points or 0.07 percent to 3,007.39. For the week, the Dow gained 1.6 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.9 percent and the S&P was up 1 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as the major averages encountered some resistance as they climbed back within striking distance of the record highs set in July.

Signs of easing trade tensions between the U.S. and China and upbeat economic data generated some positive sentiment, but traders seemed wary amid lingering uncertainty.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in August, while the University of Michigan noted that U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded more than expected in September.

Crude oil prices edged lower on Friday, extending losses to a fourth straight session as traders feared a likely drop in energy demand and excess supply in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.24 or 0.4 percent at $54.85 a barrel.

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