Additional Support Called For Thai Stock Market

( - The Thai stock market on Thursday ended the two-day slide in which it had surrendered more than 5 points or 0.3 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just above the 1,700-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism the U.S. government will avoid a shutdown, and a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The SET finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the cement stocks, while the financials and energy producers came in mixed.

For the day, the index advanced 8.98 points or 0.53 percent to finish at 1,703.37 after trading between 1,690.44 and 1,703.51. Volume was 8.866 billion shares worth 47.566 billion baht. There were 711 gainers and 610 decliners, with 410 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Thailand Airport spiked 2.44 percent, while Banpu shed 0.58 percent, Bangkok Bank climbed 0.99 percent, Bangkok Medical dropped 0.93 percent, Bangkok Expressway tumbled 2.55 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.44 percent, PTT shed 0.47 percent, PTT Global Chemical jumped 1.25 percent, Siam Commercial Bank lost 0.66 percent, Siam Concrete added 0.42 percent and PTT Exploration and Production, Krung Thai Bank and Advanced Info were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks saw moderate strength on Thursday, although they remained beneath their recent record closing highs.

The Dow rose 70.57 points or 0.29 percent to 24,211.48, while the NASDAQ advanced 36.47 points or 0.54 percent to 6,812.84 and the S&P 500 climbed 7.71 points or 0.29 percent to 2,636.98.

The strength reflected optimism about lawmakers passing a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. However, traders continued to express uncertainty about the details of the Republican tax reform bill.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for jobless benefits in the week ended December 2. Also, the Federal Reserve said that consumer credit jumped by $20.5 billion in October, beating estimates.

Crude oil futures rebounded Thursday, as traders bet this week's decline was overdone. WTI light sweet crude oil was up 76 cents at $56.72 a barrel, having slipped from near $60 over the past few weeks.

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