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Thai stock market draws firm lead

Thai stock market draws firm lead

BANGKOK: The Thai stock market moved barely back to the upside on Friday, one session after it had ended the modest two-day winning streak in which it had gained almost 5 points or 0.3 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand remains just beneath the 1,580-point plateau and it figures to extend its gains on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is solid thanks to upbeat employment data from the United States and another bounce in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The SET was barely changed on Friday as gains from the energy producers were offset by weakness from the financial shares.

Among the actives, Thailand Airport climbed 1.43 percent, Banpu added 0.60 percent, Bangkok Bank skidded 1.65 percent, Bangkok Expressway shed 0.68 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods lost 0.40 percent, Krung Thai Bank tumbled 1.11 percent, PTT gained 0.26 percent, PTT Exploration and Production slipped 0.57 percent, PTT Global Chemical picked up 0.69 percent, Siam Commercial Bank dropped 1.38 percent, Siam Concrete dipped 0.40 percent and Kasikornbank, Advanced Info and Bangkok Medical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Friday, allowing the Dow to hit yet another record high.

The Dow rose 66.71 points or 0.3 percent to 22,092.81, the NASDAQ edged up 11.22 points or 0.2 percent to 6,351.56 and the S&P added 4.67 points or 0.2 percent to 2,476.83. For the week, the NASDSAQ fell 0.4 percent, the S&P rose 0.2 percent and the Dow added 1.2 percent.

The strength followed the closely watched Labor Department report, which showed employment jumped more than expected in July. The data generated optimism about the economic outlook, although it also raised concerns about the possibility of future interest rate hikes.

Also, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed more than expected in June amid rising exports and falling imports.

Crude oil futures rose Friday as industry data showed the U.S. rig count fell. West Texas Intermediate oil for September delivery rose 1.1 percent to $49.58/bbl.