RTTNews - One day after halting the two-day losing streak in which it had lost 2 points or 0.2 percent, the Thai stock market turned right back to the downside to close out last week's trade. The Stock Exchange of Thailand slid below the 645-point level, although analysts are predicting a modest recovery when the market opens for business on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is optimistic, fueled by better than expected economic data out of the United States. Properties and retail stocks are tipped to move higher, although some of the gains may be capped by profit taking among the commodities following last week's run-up. The European and U.S. markets finished firmly in positive territory, and the Asian bourses are also projected to move higher.

The SET finished modestly lower on Friday, weighed by selling among the energy stocks and financials.

For the day, the index dropped 5.01 points or 0.77 percent to close at 644.20 after trading between 641.19 and 649.08. There were 2.554 billion shares worth 20.069 billion baht. There were 160 decliners and 130 gainers, with 134 stocks finishing unchanged,

Among the actives, energy giant PTT lost 1.95 percent, while PTT Aromatics fell 2.91 percent, PTT Exploration and Production dropped 1.39 percent, PTT Chemical was off 3.10 percent, coal miner Banpu added 1.92 percent and Siam Commercial Bank shed 2.47 percent.

Wall Street offers a broadly positive lead as stocks saw a notable rally on Friday, fueled by the day's encouraging economic data. The major averages all finished in positive territory by notable margins, offsetting some of the losses posted earlier in the week.

Buying interest in stocks was sparked by a Labor Department report showing that the pace of job losses slowed by even more than economists had been anticipating in the month of July. The report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 247,000 jobs in July following a revised decrease of 443,000 jobs in June. Economists had been expecting employment to fall by 325,000 jobs compared to the drop of 467,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Additionally, the Labor Department said that the unemployment rate unexpectedly edged down to 9.4 percent in July from 9.5 percent in June. With the decrease, the unemployment rate fell for the first time since April of 2008.

On the earnings front, American International Group (AIG) and Fannie Mae (FNM) saw mixed reaction to their quarterly results as the firms are lingering in the shadow of receiving government bailout funds last fall.

Meanwhile, Hansen Natural Corp. (HANS), Nvidia (NVDA) and AES Corp. (AES) largely beat estimates. Generally, companies have been able to surpass expectations on the bottom line via cost cutting, as revenue growth was limited by the recent economic conditions.

The major averages ceded some ground in late session trading but still finished with strong gains. The Dow closed up by 113.81 points or 1.2 percent at 9,370.07, the NASDAQ climbed by 27.09 points or 1.4 percent to 2,000.25, and the S&P 500 rose by 13.40 points or 1.3 percent to 1,010.48. With the gains, the major averages all closed higher for the week, marking the fourth consecutive week of gains. The Dow and the S&P 500 posted weekly gains of 2.2 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, while the NASDAQ rose by a more modest 1.1 percent for the week.

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