(RTTNews) – The Thai stock market has climbed higher in five straight sessions, gathering almost 35 points or 2 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,670-point plateau although investors figure to cash in on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft with profit taking expected, especially among technology stocks. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to open in similar fashion.
The SET finished slightly higher on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares and the energy producers.
For the day, the index rose 1.30 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 1,669.05 after trading between 1,664.09 and 1,673.75. Volume was 24.643 billion shares worth 68.034 billion baht. There were 1,045 decliners and 581 gainers, with 553 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Asset World added 0.41 percent, while Banpu dropped 0.92 percent, Bangkok Bank collected 0.37 percent, Bangkok Expressway shed 0.60 percent, BTS Group lost 0.53 percent, CP All Public climbed 1.20 percent, Energy Absolute sank 0.81 percent, Gulf skidded 0.99 percent, IRPC gained 0.53 percent, Krung Thai Bank improved 0.72 percent, Krung Thai Card soared 3.15 percent, PTT Oil & Retail fell 0.41 percent, PTT Exploration and Production jumped 1.57 percent, PTT Global Chemical advanced 0.88 percent, Siam Commercial Bank dipped 0.39 percent, Siam Concrete was up 0.26 percent, True Corporation slid 0.41 percent, TTB Bank plunged 3.60 percent and Advanced Info, Thailand Airport, Bangkok Dusit Medical, Charoen Pokphand Foods, Kasikornbank, PTT, SCG Packaging and Land & House were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as the major averages opened sharply lower on Thursday and stayed that way throughout the session, ending a four-day winning streak.
The Dow plunged 518.17 points or 1.45 percent to finish at 35,111.16, while the NASDAQ plummeted 538.73 points or 3.74 percent to end at 13,878.82 and the S&P tumbled 111.94 points or 2.44 percent to close at 4,477.44.
A steep drop by Meta (FB) weighed on the tech sector, with the Facebook parent plunging nearly 27 percent, and hitting its lowest intraday level in well over a year after reporting weaker than expected Q4 earnings and disappointing revenue guidance for the current quarter.
Several other social media stocks, including Snap and Twitter, tumbled as well. Weak earnings updates from other companies like Honeywell (down more than 7 percent) and Spotify (down nearly 17 percent) also weighed on sentiment.
In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest decrease by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. Also, the Institute for Supply Management noted a continued slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in January.
Crude oil prices surged on Thursday as concerns about possible supply disruptions outweighed OPEC’s decision to increase crude output in March. Geopolitical concerns in Eastern Europe and the Middle East have raised concerns about supplies. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $2.01 or 2.3 percent at a seven-year high $90.27 a barrel.
Closer to home, Thailand will provide January numbers for inflation later today, with forecasts suggesting a 2.4 percent yearly increase of overall inflation and a 0.37 percent annual increase for core CPI. That follows the 2.17 percent overall increase and the 0.29 percent core CPI gain in December.
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