RTTNews - One day after writing a finish to the four-day winning streak in which it added more than 35 points or 6.5 percent, the Thai stock market turned right back to the upside again on Friday. The Stock Exchange of Thailand regained support at 550 points, but now investors are leery about the market's ability to maintain that level in Monday's trade.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly flat with perhaps a touch of downside. There is little in the way of economic data or corporate news due for release ahead of the long holiday weekend in the United States. The European markets finished little changed in mixed fashion, while the U.S. bourses wound up with slight losses, and the Asian markets are also expected to see thin trade.
The SET finished modestly higher on Friday, as gains among the energy stocks were offset by weakness among the financials. For the day, the index added 5.25 points or 0.96 percent to close at 554.02. Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank led the decliners.
Wall Street offers little in the way of guidance as stocks closed Friday's quiet session little changed, with traders hesitant to take positions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. Bargain hunting drove gains into the late afternoon, but the major averages fell uniformly heading down the home stretch.
The dollar continued to take a brutal beating, as traders continued their exodus from the world's reserve currency amid speculation that the global economy is on the mend. As earnings season winds to a close, traders considered encouraging earnings data from Sears Holdings (SHLD), Gap (GPS) and Campbell's Soup (CPB), prompting some of the gains in equities.
On the corporate front, McDonald's (MCD) added 2.5 percent on the day. With the climb, the stock extended recent gains, moving to its highest level since February. Meanwhile, shares of Disney (DIS) and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours (DD) were also higher, rising by 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, taking back some of their recent losses. The blue chip index was limited by shares of General Motors (GM) which plunged 25 percent, as the firm is likely heading towards bankruptcy.
The Dow slipped 14.81 points or 0.18 percent to finished 8277.32, while the NASDAQ lost 3.24 points or 0.19 percent to end at 1692.01, and the S&P 500 shed 1.33 points or 0.15 percent to close at 887.
In economic news, Thailand is scheduled on Monday to release first quarter numbers for gross domestic product. Analysts are expecting a contraction of 1.7 percent on quarter following the 6.1 percent decline in the previous three months. On an annualized basis, GDP is called lower by 6.5 percent after the 4.3 percent fall in the fourth quarter of 2008.
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