Thai Stock Market May Be Stuck In Neutral On Friday

The Thai stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, gathering almost 25 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just above the 1,680-point plateau although it's likely to run out of steam on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with oil and technology stocks likely to drag the markets to the downside. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished slightly higher on Thursday, nudged higher by support from the financial sector.

For the day, the index rose 1.52 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 1,680.02 after trading between 1,675.74 and 1,682.71. Volume was 32.229 billion shares worth 82.469 billion baht. There were 975 decliners and 658 gainers, with 575 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info dropped 0.90 percent, while Thailand Airport rose 0.41 percent, Asset World advanced 0.87 percent, Bangkok Bank jumped 1.57 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical sank 0.88 percent, Bangkok Expressway retreated 1.20 percent, BTS Group shed 0.54 percent, CP All Public fell 0.43 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods skidded 0.93 percent, Energy Absolute declined 1.28 percent, Gulf surrendered 1.01 percent, IRPC lost 0.97 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.69 percent, Krung Thai Card climbed 1.22 percent, PTT Oil & Retail improved 0.96 percent, SCG Packaging slumped 1.14 percent, Siam Commercial Bank strengthened 1.19 percent, True Corporation was down 0.85 percent, TTB Bank added 0.69 percent and Banpu, Krung Thai Bank, PTT, PTT Exploration and Production, PTT Global Chemical and Siam Concrete were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened higher on Thursday but gradually faded into the red as the day progressed.

The Dow dropped 176.70 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 36,113.62, while the NASDAQ plummeted 381.58 points or 2.51 percent to end at 14,806.58 and the S&P 500 sank 67.32 points or 1.42 percent to close at 4,659.03.

The sharp pullback by the NASDAQ came as traders cashed in on recent strength in the tech sector. Tech stocks got off to a rocky start in the New Year amid concerns about higher interest rates but regained some ground earlier this week.

Traders were also digesting another reading on U.S. inflation, with a report from the Labor Department showing only a slight uptick in U.S. producer prices last month. A separate report from the Labor Department showed an increase in initial jobless claims last week.

Crude oil prices gave ground on Thursday as investors cashed in on recent gains that led to a two-month closing high. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery slid $0.52 or 0.6 percent to $82.12 a barrel after jumping $1.42 or 1.7 percent to $82.64 a barrel in the previous session.

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