World Markets

Mild Upside Seen For Thai Stock Market

( - The Thai stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, gathering more than 30 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,655-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, with light trade expected as most of the regional markets are off on holiday. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index added 2.22 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 1,653.62 after trading between 1,652.14 and 1,659.26. Volume was 9.646 billion shares worth 31.741 billion baht. There were 683 gainers and 608 decliners, with 492 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Thailand Airport shed 0.72 percent, while Banpu climbed 1.20 percent, Bangkok Bank lost 0.93 percent, Bangkok Medical added 0.42 percent, Kasikornbank collected0.50 percent, Krung Thai Bank and PTT both fell 0.51 percent, PTT Exploration and Production jumped 1.21 percent, PTT Global Chemical slid 0.36 percent, Siam Commercial Bank was down 0.38 percent, Siam Concrete retreated 0.43 percent and Charoen Pokphand Foods, Advanced Info and Bangkok Expressway were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as the major averages moved mostly higher on Monday, hitting their best closing levels in two months.

The Dow added 175.48 points or 0.70 percent to 25,239.37, while the NASDAQ gained 52.15 points or 0.42 percent to 7,347.54 and the S&P 500 rose 18.34 points or 0.68 percent to 2,724.87.

Bargain hunting after recent weakness boosted the markets - particularly among the technology stocks.

Crude oil prices retreated after moving higher earlier on Monday as traders weighed energy demand prospects and supply amid supply cuts and sanctions against Venezuela's oil exports. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March fell $0.70 or 1.3 percent at $54.56 a barrel.

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