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Thai Bourse May Hand Back Friday's Gains

The Thai stock market has moved higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had stumbled almost 15 points or 1 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,635-point plateau although it's expected to see renewed selling pressure on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on ongoing coronavirus concerns. The European markets were mixed and little changed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the energy producers were limited by weakness from the financial sector.

For the day, the index rose 6.23 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 1,635.35 after trading between 1,620.58 and 1,639.65. Volume was 36.652 billion shares worth 92.056 billion baht. There were 986 decliners and 736 gainers, with 503 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.52 percent, while Thailand Airport retreated 1.62 percent, Bangkok Bank skidded 1.32 percent, Bangkok Expressway climbed 1.20 percent, Gulf added 0.61 percent, Kasikornbank sank 0.82 percent, Krung Thai Card gained 0.40 percent, PTT Oil & Retail advanced 0.87 percent, PTT perked 2.01 percent, PTT Exploration and Production rose 0.47 percent, PTT Global Chemical slid 0.41 percent, SCG Packaging declined 1.12 percent, Siam Commercial Bank dropped 0.96 percent, Siam Concrete lost 0.48 percent and TTB Bank, Bangkok Dusit Medical, BTS Group, Charoen Pokphand Foods and Krung Thai Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative spent Friday's session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finally ending in the red, extending recent losses.

The Dow shed 271.68 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 34,607.72, while the NASDAQ lost 132.81 points or 0.87 percent to end at 15,115.49 and the S&P 500 fell 34.70 points or 0.77 percent to close at 4,458.58. For the week, the Dow lost 2.2 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.6 percent and the S&P fell 1.7 percent.

Some initial strength on Wall Street came on bargain hunting, but buying interest quickly waned as traders continued to express concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant.

Traders may also have been wary of buying stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve's next monetary policy meeting later this month. The Fed may provide an update on the plans for its asset purchase program, although recent signs of slowing economic momentum could lead the central bank to push back tapering.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department reported that producer prices increased by slightly more than expected in August.

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher Friday on signs of a drop in crude supply in the U.S. due to the impact of Hurricane Ida. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $1.58 or 2.3 percent at $69.72 a barrel. WTI crude futures gained 0.6 percent for the week.

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