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Steady Start Predicted For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market has finished lower in back-to-back trading days, sliding almost 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,640-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a touch of upside on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the energy producers and a mixed picture from the financial sector

For the day, the index shed 13.48 points or 0.81 percent to finish at 1,640.66 after trading between 1,638.47 and 1,660.81. Volume was 18.774 billion shares worth 57.286 billion baht. There were 1,168 decliners and 436 gainers, with 394 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info tumbled 2.18 percent, while Banpu plunged 3.33 percent, Bangkok Bank jumped 1.70 percent, Bangkok Medical spiked2.56 percent, Bangkok Expressway dropped 0.90 percent, BTS Group shed 0.75 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods skidded 1.87 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.61 percent, Krung Thai Bank lost 0.57 percent, PTT sank 1.09 percent, PTT Exploration and Production fell 0.40 percent, PTT Global Chemical retreated 1.86 percent, Siam Commercial Bank declined 0.83 percent, Siam Concrete dipped 0.48 percent, TMB Bank was down 1.16 percent and Thailand Airport was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks opened higher on Thursday before giving ground later in the day, ending mixed and roughly flat.

The Dow fell 52.29 points or 0.19 percent to 27,094, while the NASDAQ rose 5.49 points or 0.07 percent to 8,182.88 and the S&P 500 added 0.06 points to end at 3,000.79.

The lackluster close on Wall Street came amid continued uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

The Fed lowered interest rates by 25 basis points as expected but indicated officials are mixed about whether the central bank should cut rates again before the end of the year.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest rebound in initial jobless claims last week, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve saw a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in September.

Crude oil futures settled just marginally up on Thursday, despite moving up sharply early on in the session on continued geopolitical concerns. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up by 2 cents at $58.13 a barrel.

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