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Thai Stock Market May Take Further Damage On Friday

The Thai stock market on Thursday halted the four-day winning streak in which it had risen more than 40 points or 3.3 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just above the 1,320-point plateau and the losses figure to accelerate on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, with profit taking expected following recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The SET finished slightly lower on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index eased 1.51 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 1,320.69 after trading between 1,315.03 and 1,333.25. Volume was 15.574 billion shares worth 70.212 billion baht. There were 809 decliners and 549 gainers, with 373 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info added 0.26 percent, while Thailand Airport skidded 1.26 percent, Asset World plunged 3.26 percent, Banpu dropped 1.32 percent, Bangkok Bank collected 0.78 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical shed 0.48 percent, Bangkok Expressway tumbled 1.55 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods sank 0.86 percent, Kasikornbank retreated 0.85 percent, Krung Thai Bank climbed 1.02 percent, PTT perked 0.68 percent, PTT Exploration and Production gained 0.58 percent, PTT Global Chemical tanked 2.17 percent, Siam Commercial Bank declined 1.08 percent, Siam Concrete dipped 0.29 percent and TMB Bank advanced 0.96 percent and BTS Group was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before finally slipping firmly into negative territory.

The Dow shed 101.78 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 24,474.12, while the NASDAQ sank 90.90 points or 0.97 percent to 9.284.88 and the S&P 55 fell 23.10 points or 0.78 percent to end at 2,948.51.

The weakness on Wall Street was partly due to profit taking, as some traders cashed in on the strong gains posted on Monday and Wednesday.

Traders were also reacting to a Labor Department report showing initial jobless claims pulled back further off their record high but remain at an elevated level.

Also, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing another steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in April.

Crude oil prices moved up Thursday, extending recent gains amid continued optimism about a pickup in energy demand and falling supply levels in the market. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose $0.43 or 1.3 percent at $33.92 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will provide April figures for unemployment, imports, exports and trade balance later today. In March, imports were up 7.25 percent on year and exports were up an annual 4.17 percent for a trade surplus of $1.59 billion. The jobless rate was 1.0 percent in March.

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