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Lower Open Predicted For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had risen almost 15 points or 1 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,515-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative, with more profit taking expected after recent gains. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the energy producers were mitigated by support from the financial sector.

For the day, the index shed 8.20 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 1,514.91 after trading between 1,513.58 and 1,528.58. Volume was 25.664 billion shares worth 96.456 billion baht. There were 1,078 decliners and 516 gainers, with 401 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Thailand Airport retreated 1.58 percent, while Asset World tumbled 1.67 percent, Bangkok Asset Management skidded 1.35 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical dropped 0.97 percent, Bangkok Expressway shed 0.62 percent, BTS Group added 0.53 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods declined 1.45 percent, Gulf sank 0.72 percent, Kasikornbank rallied 2.09 percent, PTT lost 1.21 percent, PTT Exploration and Production surrendered 0.88 percent, PTT Global Chemical was down 1.13 percent, SCG Packaging added 0.49 percent, Siam Commercial Bank jumped 1.45 percent, Siam Concrete fell 0.53 percent, TMB Bank collected 0.86 percent and Advanced Info, Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened in the red on Wednesday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow was able to finish in the green.

The Dow gained 90.27 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 31,613.02, while the NASDAQ sank 82.00 points or 0.58 percent to end at 13,965.50 and the S&P 500 eased 1.26 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,931.33.

The early weakness on Wall Street followed the release of a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data, which painted a positive picture of the economy but also added to recent inflation concerns.

The Commerce Department said retail sales spiked 5.3 percent in January, while the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected last month and the Labor Department said producer prices jumped much more than expected in January.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting also signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future, offsetting concerns about the impact of inflation.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday amid rising concerns over likely disruptions in supply due to severe cold weather in Texas. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.09 or 1.8 percent at $61.14 a barrel.

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