Thai Shares Tipped To Rebound On Friday

( - The Thai stock market headed south again on Thursday, one session after it had ended the four-day losing streak in which it had tumbled almost 45 points or 2.9 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,550-point plateau although it figures to bounce higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as the U.S. stock markets shrugged off heavy damage in the morning to rise again on bargain hunting - although weakness from crude oil prices may cap the upside.

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

For the day, the index sank 8.56 point or 0.55 percent to finish at 1,548.37 after trading between 1,546.62 and 1,585.77. Volume was 13.739 billion shares worth 49.510 billion baht. There were 687 decliners and 516 gainers, with 550 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.59 percent, while Thailand Airport skidded 1.17 percent, Bangkok Bank dropped 1.49 percent, Bangkok Medical plummeted 6.67 percent, Bangkok Expressway jumped 1.58 percent, Kasikornbank dipped 0.27 percent, Krung Thai Bank surrendered 1.02 percent, PTT Global Chemical added 0.70 percent, Siam Commercial Bank collected 0.76 percent, Siam Cement gained 0.47 percent and PTT, PTT Exploration and production, Charoen Pokphand Foods, Banpu and Beauty Community all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks shook off heavy weakness on Thursday morning, skyrocketing off their worst levels of the day and into positive territory.

The Dow jumped 260.24 points or 1.14 percent to 23,138.69, while the NASDAQ added 25.14 points or 0.38 percent to 6,579.49 and the S&P 500 gained 21.13 points or 0.86 percent to 2,488.83.

The early weakness came as traders cashed in on Wednesday's surge, which saw the Dow record its biggest single-day gain ever. Lingering concerns about the global economic outlook may also have weighed - although the late-day rally came on further bargain hunting.

In economic news, the Conference Board noted a significant deterioration in consumer confidence in December. Also, the Labor Department saw a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 22.

Crude oil futures declined sharply Thursday - one day after rebounding from 18-month lows. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for February ended down $1.61 or 3.5 percent at $44.61 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will release November numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In October, imports were worth $20.43 billion and exports were at $21.68 billion for a trade surplus of $1.26 billion.

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