Ahead of the long weekend break for New Year’s day, the Thai stock market had finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had surged more than 70 points or 5 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,450-point plateau although it’s likely to bounce higher again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed thanks to ongoing coronavirus concerns and apprehension about the U.S. political scene as Republicans continue to try to overturn results of the presidential election. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The SET finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares and a mixed picture from the energy producers.
For the day, the index sank 12.60 points or 0.86 percent to finish at 1,449.35 after trading between, 1,445.36 and 1,479.04. Volume was 22.619 billion shares worth 87.544 billion baht. There were 1,157 decliners and 428 gainers, with 322 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Advanced Info skidded 1.40 percent, while Thailand Airport shed 0.40 percent, Asset World plummeted 5.39 percent, Bangkok Bank tanked 2.07 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical retreated 1.42 percent, Bangkok Expressway plunged 3.49 percent, BTS Group declined 2.62 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods cratered 4.50 percent, Gulf surrendered 2.14 percent, IRPC sank 2.62 percent, Kasikornbank tumbled 1.72 percent, Krung Thai Bank dropped 1.77 percent, PTT Exploration and Production perked 0.51 percent, PTT Global Chemical lost 2.09 percent, Siam Commercial Bank eased 0.28 percent, Siam Concrete fell 1.05 percent, TMB Bank was down 3.57 percent, True Corporation plummeted 8.02 percent and PTT was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before finally moving higher to end in the green.
The Dow climbed 196.88 points or 0.65 percent to finish at 30,606.48, while the NASDAQ rose 18.28 points or 0.14 percent to end at 12,888.28 and the S&P 500 gained 24.03 points or 0.64 percent to close at 3,756.07.
The gains capped off a strong year for U.S. stocks, which moved sharply higher in 2020 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
For the year, the Dow jumped 7.3 percent, the S&P 500 surged 16.3 percent and the tech-heavy NASDAQ skyrocketed 43.6 percent – benefitting from the stay-at-home orders issued in response to the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report unexpectedly showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 26.
Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Thursday despite concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February rose $0.12 or 0.3 percent at $48.52 a barrel. WTI Crude oil futures lost 21 percent in 2020, while Brent crude futures tumbled more than 22 percent.
Closer to home, Thailand will see December numbers for inflation and business confidence later today. In November, overall inflation was down 0.41 percent on year and core CPI rose 0.18 percent on year. The busines confidence index score was 47.7.
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