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Modest Support Expected At 1,500 For Thai Shares

The Thai stock market has tracked lower in three straight sessions, sliding almost 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits barely above the 1,500-point plateau and it may stop the bleeding on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests a touch of upside, with stimulus optimism tempered by inflation concerns. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and energy producers.

For the day, the index sank 10.52 points or 0.70 percent to finish at 1,500.51 after trading between 1,493.52 and 1,507.63. Volume was 24.584 billion shares worth 90.518 billion baht. There were 1,190 decliners and 439 gainers, with 383 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info tanked 2.02 percent, while Thailand Airport skidded 1.21 percent, Asset World dropped 0.85 percent, Bangkok Asset Management added 0.46 percent, Bangkok Bank retreated 1.61 percent, Bangkok Expressway gained 0.63 percent, BTS Group increased 0.63 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods rallied 2.65 percent, Gulf declined 1.45 percent, Kasikornbank tumbled 1.74 percent, Krung Thai Bank sank 0.82 percent, PTT surrendered 1.23 percent, PTT Exploration and Production plunged 2.19 percent, PTT Global Chemical plummeted 3.05 percent, SCG Packaging fell 1.49 percent, Siam Commercial Bank lost 1.44 percent, TMB Bank was down 2.61 percent and Bangkok Dusit Medical and Siam Concrete were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Friday, finishing on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The Dow rose 1.02 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 31,494.32, while the NASDAQ added 9.11 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,874.46 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.26 points or 0.19 percent to close at 3,906.71. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.6 percent and the S&P fell 0.7 percent.

Continued optimism about more fiscal stimulus fueled the early strength on Wall Street, as new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. urged lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.

However, buying interest waned amid a jump in treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reading its highest closing level in almost a year - spurring concerns for the outlook for interest rates amid potentially higher inflation.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported another unexpected increase in U.S. existing home sales in January.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as worries about supply disruptions eased after most of the oil companies in Texas prepared to resume production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $1.28 or 2.1 percent at $59.24 a barrel.

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