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Thai Stock Market May Extend Thursday's Gains

The Thai stock market on Thursday snapped the three-day slide in which it had fallen more than 20 points or 1.1 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,725-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mildly positive on an improved outlook for interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index added 4.59 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 1,723.44 after trading between 1,714.41 and 1,725.94. Volume was 16.951 billion shares worth 54.793 billion baht. There were 734 decliners and 705 gainers, with 522 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.46 percent, while Thailand Airport lost 0.68 percent, Bangkok Bank dipped 0.26 percent, Bangkok Medical added 0.40 percent, Bangkok Expressway spiked 2.91 percent, BTS Group sank 0.79 percent, Kasikornbank tumbled 1.91 percent, Krung Thai Bank dropped1.02 percent, PTT slid 0.52 percent, PTT Global Chemical jumped 1.15 percent, Siam Commercial Bank collected 0.72 percent, Siam Concrete fell 0.44 percent and TMB Bank, PTT Exploration and Production, Banpu and Charoen Pokphand Foods were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks saw considerable volatility on Thursday, with the major averages swinging back and forth across the unchanged line before ending higher.

The Dow added 3.12 points or 0.01 percent to 27,222.97, while the NASDAQ gained 22.04 points or 0.27 percent to 8,207.24 and the S&P 500 rose 10.69 points or 0.36 percent to 2,995.11.

The higher close on Wall Street came as comments from New York Federal Reserve President John Williams seemed to endorse a near-term interest rate cut by the Fed.

Buying interest was somewhat subdued, however, as traders were also digesting news that the U.S. Navy has shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.

Crude oil futures declined sharply Thursday as resumption of service in the Gulf of Mexico raised concerns about excess supply in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $1.48 or 2.6 percent at $55.30 a barrel.

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