Thai Bourse May Hand Back Thursday's Gains

The Thai stock market bounced higher again on Thursday, one day after ending the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 10 points or 0.7 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,645-point plateau although it's likely to encounter renewed selling pressure on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on recession fears and concern over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.

The SET finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and a mixed performance from the energy companies.

For the day, the index gained 11.84 points or 0.72 percent to finish at 1,645.29 after trading between 1,627.34 and 1,649.29. Volume was 18.796 billion shares worth 67.375 billion baht. There were 927 gainers and 693 decliners, with 596 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info perked 0.26 percent, while Asset World strengthened 1.69 percent, Banpu sank 0.73 percent, Bangkok Bank climbed 1.10 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical advanced 0.85 percent, B. Grimm gathered 1.47 percent, BTS Group added 0.58 percent, CP All Public retreated 1.72 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods improved 1.41 percent, Energy Absolute jumped 1.97 percent, Gulf gathered 1.89 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.67 percent, Krung Thai Card gained 0.83 percent, PTT Oil & Retail increase 0.94 percent, PTT perked 0.68 percent, PTT Exploration and Production lost 0.57 percent, Thai Oil sank 0.89 percent, True Corporation was up 0.40 percent, TTB Bank rallied 1.59 percent and Thailand Airport, Bangkok Expressway, IRPC, Krung Thai Bank, PTT Global Chemical and SCG Packaging were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street continues to be weak as the major averages opened lower on Thursday and remained in the red throughout the session.

The Dow shed 107.10 points or 0.35 percent to finish at 30,076.68, while the NASDAQ tumbled 153.39 points or 1.37 percent to end at 11,066.81 and the S&P 500 sank 31.94 points or 0.84 percent to close at 3,757.99.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected continued concerns about the economic outlook following the Federal Reserve's third straight 75-basis point interest rate hike on Wednesday.

While the Fed's economic projections provided a clearer outlook for future rate hikes, traders are concerned about the impact the aggressive rate increases will have on the economy. Several other central banks around the world followed the Fed's lead, including the Bank of England, which raised interest rates by 50 basis points in a split decision.

In economic news, Labor Department reported an uptick in jobless claims last week, while the Conference Board said its leading economic index fell by 0.3 percent in August after sliding by a revised 0.5 percent in July.

Crude oil prices settled higher on Thursday on concerns about tight supplies amid geopolitical tensions in Russia. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended higher by $0.55 or 0.7 percent at $83.49 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will provide August figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are expected to jump 17.7 percent on year, down from 23.9 percent in July. Exports are called higher by an annual 7.55 percent, up from 4.3 percent in the previous month. The trade deficit is pegged at $3.1 billion following the $3.66 billion shortfall a month earlier.

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