The Thai stock market on Wednesday halted the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 15 points or 1 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,500-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft due to coronavirus relief package concerns and heavy speculative trading. The European and U.S. markets were solidly lower and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.
The SET finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares and energy producers.
For the day, the index dropped 14.70 points or 0.97 percent to finish at 1,498.13 after trading between 1,498.05 and 1,515.32. Volume was 25.230 billion shares and 78.817 decliners. There were 984 decliners and 538 gainers, with 421 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.57 percent, while Asset World jumped 1.72 percent, Bangkok Bank tumbled 2.06 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical lost 0.47 percent, Bangkok Expressway fell 0.61 percent, Energy Absolute dropped 0.73 percent, Gulf retreated 1.47 percent, Kasikornbank skidded 1.57 percent, Krung Thai Bank declined 1.67 percent, PTT sank 1.26 percent, PTT Exploration and Production surrendered 1.79 percent, PTT Global Chemical tanked 1.99 percent, SCG Packaging added 0.53 percent, Siam Commercial Bank gave away 1.04 percent, Siam Concrete slid 0.76 percent, TMB Bank was down 0.87 percent and Thailand Airport, Bangkok Asset Management, BTS Group and Charoen Pokphand Foods were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks opened sharply lower on Wednesday and the losses accelerated going into the close.
The Dow plunged 633 points or 2.05 percent to finish at 30,303.17, while the NASDAQ tumbled 355.47 points or 2.61 percent to end at 13,270.60 and the S&P 500 dropped 98.85 points or 2.57 percent to close at 3,750.77.
The sell-off on Wall Street came as traders worried about recent speculative trading by retail investors amid continued spikes by heavily shorted stocks like GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC) – which skyrocketed on the day, leading to concerns hedge funds may need to sell other securities to offset their mounting losses.
Stocks sank further following the Federal Reserve’s first monetary policy announcement of the year. The Fed left interest rates unchanged as expected and will maintain its asset purchase program at the current pace. But traders were disappointed the central bank did not provide clarity about the outlook for its bond purchases.
In earnings news, shares of aerospace leader Boeing (BA) and coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) tumbled after disappointing reports, while shares of Microsoft (MSFT) ticked higher after beating the street.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured durable goods rose by much less than expected in December.
Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday after data showed a substantial drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week, although the upside was limited by ongoing demand concerns caused by the coronavirus. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.24 or 0.5 percent at $52.85 a barrel.
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