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Thai Stock Market May Inch Higher On Friday

The Thai stock market has moved lower in back-to-back trading days, slipping almost 10 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,515-point plateau and it's likely to be rangebound again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower as many of the regional bourses have been overbought in the rally leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration, so profit taking may be in order. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The SET finished slightly lower on Thursday as nig gains from the financials were capped by weakness from the energy producers.

For the day, the index dipped 2.21 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 1,513.51 after trading between 1,510.80 and 1,529.27. Volume was 28.672 billion shares worth 98.996 billion baht.

Among the actives, Thailand Airport skidded 1.22 percent, while Bangkok Asset Management shed 0.47 percent, Bangkok Bank soared 4.53 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical advanced 0.94 percent, Bangkok Expressway lost 0.60 percent, BTS Group added 0.51 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods gained 0.87 percent, Gulf sank 0.72 percent, Kasikornbank skyrocketed 7.76 percent, Krung Thai Bank spiked 4.17 percent, PTT retreated 0.61 percent, Siam Commercial Bank soared 3.59 percent, Siam Concrete dipped 0.26 percent, TMB Bank accelerated 3.48 percent and PTT Exploration and Production, PTT Global Chemical, Advanced Info and Asset World were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow dipped 12.37 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 31,176.01, while the NASDAQ climbed 73.67 points or 0.55 percent to end at 13,530.92 and the S&P 500 rose 1.22 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,853.07.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets, which may be overbought following the run to record highs.

Optimism about ramped up efforts to combat the coronavirus under new President Joe Biden have also helped to prop up the markets, including the possibility of more stimulus.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a pullback in initial jobless claims last week. The Commerce Department also released a report showing new residential construction in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Thursday after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.18 or 0.3 percent at $53.13 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will release December numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In November, imports were up 0.99 percent on year and exports were down an annual 3.65 percent for a trade surplus of $0.05 billion.

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