Soft Start Seen For Thai Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Thai stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the three-day slide in which it had fallen more than 30 points or 1.9 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,630-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the red again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on falling crude oil prices and disappointing economic data. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The SET finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the energy producers and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index dipped 3.09 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 1,630.12 after trading between 1,626.33 and 1,637.46. Volume was 12.502 billion shares worth 34.356 billion baht. There were 845 decliners and 450 gainers, with 500 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.28 percent, while Banpu lost 0.62 percent, Bangkok Bank fell 0.48 percent, Bangkok Medical added 0.43 percent, Bangkok Expressway jumped 1.51 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.52 percent, Krung Thai Bank and PTT both sank 0.52 percent, PTT Exploration and Production skidded 1.22 percent, PTT Global Chemical dropped 1.44 percent, Siam Concrete rose 0.85 percent and Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand Airport and Charoen Pokphand Foods were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks opened lower Friday, came off session lows as the day progressed but still ended slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 22.99 points or 009 percent to 25.450.24, while the NASDAQ lost 13.32 points or 0.18 percent to 7,408.14 and the S&P 500 fell 5.86 points or 0.21 percent to 2,743.07. For the week, the Dow and the S&P both slumped 2.2 percent, while the NASDAQ tumbled 2.5 percent.

The initial weakness on Wall Street came after the Labor Department said job growth nearly ground to a halt in February after soaring in January. The much weaker than expected job growth in February represented the worst month since September 2017

Concerns about the global economy also weighed on the markets after the European Central Bank downgraded its GDP forecasts and China reported weaker than expected trade data for February.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday as worries about demand growth resurfaced on data showing weak jobs growth in the U.S. and a sharp plunge in Chinese exports. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59 or 1 percent at $56.07 a barrel.
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