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Thai Stock Market May Extend Friday's Gains

The Thai stock market on Friday snapped the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 20 points or 1.5 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just above the 1,280-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on optimism that some countries are taking steps to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday amid considerable volatility and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The SET finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the energy producers were capped by weakness from the financial shares.

For the day, the index rose 0.36 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 1,280.76 after trading between 1,278.86 and 1,289.24. Volume was 12.891 billion shares worth 50.659 billion baht. There were 710 decliners and 611 gainers, with 344 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.53 percent, while Thailand Airport skidded 1.26 percent, Asset World plunged 2.85 percent, Banpu sank 0.77 percent, Bangkok Bank dropped 1.05 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical lost 0.51 percent, BTS Group advanced 0.86 percent, Kasikornbank retreated 1.78 percent, PTT Exploration and Production soared 2.14 percent, PTT Global Chemical surged 3.73 percent, Siam Commercial Bank declined 1.12 percent, Siam Concrete tanked 1.47 percent, TMB Bank fell 1.08 percent and PTT, Krung Thai Bank, Bangkok Expressway and Charoen Pokphand Foods were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks saw considerable volatility Friday after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually ending higher.

The Dow added 60.08 points or 0.25 percent to 23,685.42, while the NASDAQ climbed 70.84 points or 0.79 percent to 9,014.56 and the S&P 500 rose 11.20 points or 0.39 percent to 2,863.70. For the week, the Dow shed 2.7 percent, the S&P fell 2.3 percent and the NASDAQ lost 1.2 percent.

The higher close on Wall Street came as traders shrugged off some dismal U.S. economic data, including reports showing record decreases in retail sales and industrial production in April.

Concerns about the economy were offset by a University of Michigan report showing an unexpected improvement in consumer sentiment in May, as well as ongoing plans for states and countries to reopen.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, extending recent gains amid hopes for some gains in energy demand, and on hopes the output cuts from major producers will support prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $1.87 or 6.8 percent at $29.43 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will release Q1 GDP data later today, with forecasts suggesting a drop of 4.5 percent on quarter and 4.0 percent on year. That follows the 0.2 percent quarterly increase and the 1.6 percent yearly gain in the previous three months.

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