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Thai Shares Expected To Remain Rangebound

The Thai stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, although it has given away not even 2 points in that span. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,685-point plateau and it's looking at another flat performance again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement amid a lack of catalysts with some markets still on holiday. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The SET finished barely lower on Wednesday following mixed performances from the financial shares and the energy producers.

For the day, the index eased 0.83 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 1,682.11 after trading between 1,678.71 and 1,687.51. Volume was 13.850 billion shares worth 57.927 billion baht. There were 959 decliners and 456 gainers, with 557 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info added 0.50 percent, while Thailand Airport fell 0.33 percent, Asset World soared 2.48 percent, Bangkok Bank advanced 0.98 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical retreated 1.69 percent, Bangkok Expressway surged 2.56 percent, B. Grimm gained 0.60 percent, CP All Public slid 0.36 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods declined 1.67 percent, Gulf improved 0.93 percent, Krung Thai Bank lost 0.56 percent, Krung Thai Card rose 0.44 percent, PTT Oil & Retail slumped 1.29 percent, PTT Global Chemical increased 0.49 percent, SCG Packaging plunged 2.80 percent, Siam Commercial Bank sank 0.47 percent, Siam Concrete dropped 0.86 percent, True Corporation was up 0.41 percent and TTB Bank, Banpu, BTS Group, Energy Absolute, Kasikornbank, PTT, PTT Exploration and Production and Thai Oil were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as the major averages opened sharply lower on Wednesday but improved as the day progressed, eventually finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 9.88 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 33,743.84, while the NASDAQ dipped 20.91 points or 0.18 percent to close at 11,313.36 and the S&P 500 eased 0.73 points or 0.02 percent to end at 4,016.22.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to disappointing earnings news from some big-name companies like software giant Microsoft (MSFT) and aerospace giant Boeing (BA).

With gold for February delivery climbing $7.20 to $1,942.60 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index jumped by 1.9 percent to a seven-month closing high.

Banking, airline and steel stocks also showed strong moves to the upside, contributing to the recovery by the broader markets.

Crude oil futures rose slightly higher Wednesday, with traders reacting to reports that a diesel refinery in Louisiana was shut after a fire on Saturday. The disruption is expected to last at least a month. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled at $80.15 a barrel, up just 2 cents from the previous close.

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