(RTTNews) – The Thai stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, sliding almost 10 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,670-point plateau although it’s expected to open higher on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and accompanying statement later today. The European markets were mixed and little changed and the U.S. bourses were higher and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The SET finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares and a mixed performance from the energy producers.
For the day, the index dropped 9.76 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 1,671.46 after trading between 1,671.00 and 1,683.90. Volume was 21.041 billion shares worth 82.305 billion baht. There were 1,025 decliners and 579 gainers, with 467 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Advanced Info retreated 1.27 percent, while Thailand Airport slumped 1.33 percent, Banpu tanked 3.33 percent, Bangkok Bank declined 1.55 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical dropped 0.83 percent, Bangkok Expressway sank 1.02 percent, BTS Group surrendered 1.17 percent, CP All Public tumbled 3.27 percent, Kasikornbank lost 0.68 percent, Krung Thai Bank stumbled 1.69 percent, Krung Thai Card skidded 1.31 percent, Siam Commercial Bank plunged 3.26 percent, Siam Concrete weakened 2.33 percent, Thai Oil plummeted 3.35 percent, True Corporation shed 0.41 percent and TTB Bank, B. Grimm, Energy Absolute, PTT and PTT Exploration and Production were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as the major averages opened roughly flat on Tuesday but moved steadily higher as the day progressed.
The Dow climbed 368.95 points or 1.09 percent to finish at 34,086.04, while the NASDAQ jumped 190.74 points or 1.67 percent to close at 11,584.55 and the S&P 500 advanced 58.83 points or 1.46 percent to end at 4,076.60.
Recent data has reinforced the view that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its monetary policy tightening later today and raise interest rate by only 25 basis points.
The central bank’s accompanying statement will be in focus for clues about further interest rate hikes.
In economic news, the Labor Department said employment cost index wages in the U.S. increased at a slower pace in Q4, while the Institute for Supply Management said the Chicago PMI contracted for the fifth straight month.
Crude oil futures moved higher on Tuesday on expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at a slower pace, so the greenback might strengthen less than expected. West Texas International Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $0.97 or 1.3 percent at $78.87 a barrel.
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