(RTTNews) - The Thai stock market has moved higher in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day slide in which it had fallen almost 20 points or 1.3 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,535-point plateau and it's expected to be rangebound again on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on nervousness over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The SET finished slightly higher on Wednesday as gains from the food, energy and industrial stocks were tempered by weakness from the financial and packaging companies.
For the day, the index added 4.67 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 1,533.21 after trading between 1,522.30 and 1,534.69. Volume was 14.352 billion shares worth 50.564 billion baht. There were 247 gainers and 197 decliners, with 201 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Advanced Info gained 0.47 percent, while Thailand Airport rose 0.36 percent, Asset World spiked 2.21 percent, Banpu strengthened 1.20 percent, Bangkok Bank shed 0.62 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical dropped 0.87 percent, Bangkok Expressway gathered 1.23 percent, B. Grimm gained 0.69 percent, CP All Public retreated 1.19 percent, Energy Absolute surged 4.13 percent, Gulf climbed 1.10 percent, Krung Thai Bank skidded 1.04 percent, Krung Thai Card added 0.39 percent, PTT Exploration and Production rallied 3.45 percent, PTT Global Chemical soared 2.82 percent, SCG Packaging tumbled 1.95 percent, Siam Concrete improved 1.22 percent, Thai Oil advanced 1.14 percent, True Corporation skyrocketed 4.58 percent, TTB Bank collected 1.21 percent and Charoen Pokphand Foods, Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank, PTT Oil & Retail, PTT and BTS Group were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened higher on Wednesday; the Dow kept bouncing up and down but finished in the green, while the NASDAQ and S&P quickly headed south and remained in the red.
The Dow added 94.93 points or 0.28 percent to finish at 33,668.21, while the NASDAQ dropped 168.22 points or 1.27 percent to end at 13,108.19 and the S&P 500 sank 15.82 points or 0.37 percent to close at 4,268.03.
The sharp pullback by the NASDAQ came after the Bank of Canada once again raised interest rates after leaving rates unchanged for two straight meetings, raising the concerns about the outlook for U.S. rates.
The Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy decision next Wednesday, with the central bank widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit widened significantly in April as the value of exports plummeted.
Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday as Saudi Arabia's recent decision to cut crude output outweighed concerns about demand, while data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week also supported prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended higher by $0.79 or 1.1 percent at $72.53 a barrel.
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