Higher Open Anticipated For Thai Stock Market

The Thai stock market bounced higher again on Monday, one session after snapping the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up more than 7 points or 0.5 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,685-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, with technology stocks again expected to lead the markets higher. The European and U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are expected to follow that lead.

The SET finished modestly higher on Monday following mixed performances from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index rose 6.79 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 1,684.04 after trading between 1,677.52 and 1,689.52. Volume was 14.550 billion shares worth 52.486 billion baht. There were 752 decliners and 689 gainers, with 529 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info added 0.50 percent, while Asset World sank 0.82 percent, Banpu retreated 1.57 percent, Bangkok Bank advanced 0.99 percent, BTS Group gained 0.58 percent, CP All Public jumped 1.84 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods fell 0.41 percent
Energy Absolute and PTT Oil & Retail both dropped 0.84 percent, Gulf skidded 0.93 percent, Kasikornbank shed 0.69 percent, Krung Thai Bank surged 3.51 percent, Krung Thai Card slumped 0.87 percent, PTT and PTT Global Chemical both rallied 1.50 percent, PTT Exploration and Production climbed 1.16 percent, SCG Packaging rose 0.45 percent, Siam Commercial Bank declined 1.38 percent, Siam Concrete lost 0.56 percent, Thai Oil improved 0.43 percent, True Corporation strengthened 1.23 percent, TTB Bank collected 2.13 percent and Thailand Airport, Bangkok Dusit Medical, Bangkok Expressway and B. Grimm were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is solid as the major averages opened higher on Monday and remained well in the green throughout the session.

The Dow jumped 254.07 points or 0.76 percent to finish at 33,629.56, while the NASDAQ surged 223.98 points or 2.01 percent to end at 11,364.41 and the S&P 500 spiked 47.20 points or 1.19 percent to close at 4,019.81.

Technology stocks again helped lead the markets higher, contributing to the standout gain by the tech-heavy NASDAQ. Semiconductor stocks turned in a particularly strong performance, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 5.0 percent to a five-month closing high.

Significant strength was also visible among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index.

Networking and software stocks also saw considerable strength, while banking and transportation stocks turned in some of the best performances outside the tech sector.

Crude oil prices failed to hold early gains and settled roughly flat on Monday amid concerns about the outlook for oil demand due to a potential U.S. recession. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled at $81.62 a barrel, down 2 cents from the previous close.

Closer to home, Thailand will see December results for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are expected to sink 8.00 percent on year after rising 5.60 percent in November, Exports are called lower by an annual 10.65 percent after slipping 6.00 percent in the previous month. The trade deficit is pegged at $1.100 billion following the $1.340 billion shortfall a month earlier.

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