RTTNews - The Thai stock market has finished lower in two of three sessions since the end of the five-day winning streak in which it had collected more than two dozen points or 3.3 percent. The Stock Exchange of Thailand is holding support above the 650-point plateau, although analysts warn that the market could slide through that level at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets remains solidly pessimistic after most of the markets saw heavy losses in Monday's trade. Resource stocks are expected to remain under pressure following a fall in commodity prices, while airlines, properties and financials also could see significant losses. The European and U.S. markets finished broadly negative, and the Asian markets are also tipped to move to the downside.
The SET finished modestly lower on Monday, borrowing negative sentiment from the heavy losses in the mainland China bourse. Energy stocks were mostly lower, while gains among the financials offset much of the weakness.
For the day, the index lost 3.73 points or 0.57 percent to close at 653.25 after trading between 650.84 and 655.82. Volume was 2.791 billion shares worth 13.422 billion baht. There were 177 decliners and 145 gainers, with 126 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, energy giant PTT was off 1.21 percent, while PTT Aromatic added 0.46 percent, PTT Exploration and Production lost 2.46 percent, coal producer Banpu shed 1.72 percent and Siam Commercial Bank gained 0.33 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is firmly negative as stocks remained mostly negative throughout the trading day on Monday after moving sharply lower in early trading. While the major averages did not see much follow-through on their initial downward move, they remained stuck in the red.
The weakness in the markets came as a sell-off in the Chinese stock market inspired some traders to cash in on recent strength. Nonetheless, selling pressure remained relatively subdued ahead of the release of some key economic data later this week.
Traders largely shrugged off the results of the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago's survey of regional manufacturing activity, which showed that activity unexpectedly reached neutral territory in August following ten consecutive months of contraction. The index of manufacturing activity rose to 50.0 in August from 43.4 in July, with a reading of 50 acting as the breakeven point versus contraction and expansion. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 48.0.
In corporate news, Walt Disney (DIS) announced that it has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment (MVL) in a stock and cash transaction. Marvel shareholders will receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.
The major averages moved well off their lows going into the close, although they still ended the day firmly in negative territory. The Dow closed down by 47.92 points or 0.5 percent at 9,496.28, the NASDAQ fell by 19.71 points or 1 percent to 2,009.06 and the S&P 500 slipped by 8.31 points or 0.8 percent to close at 1,020.62.
In economic news, Thailand will on Tuesday announce August figures for consumer prices, with analysts expecting a fall of 1.3 percent on year after the 4.4 percent annual contraction in July. Core CPI is predicted to ease 0.2 percent on year following the 1.2 percent decline in the previous month.
Also, Thailand's exports dropped 25.7 percent year-on-year in July after falling 26.4 percent in June, the Bank of Thailand said on Monday. Imports were down 31.7 percent following a 26.3 percent decline in the previous month. Export value of $12.78 billion and import value of $11.98 billion dollars gave a trade surplus of $799 million in July, down from $939 million surplus in June.
Current account surplus in July was $378 million, down from $477 million surplus in June. Manufacturing production dropped 7.3 percent year-on-year in July after an 8.3 percent fall in June. However, it rose 1.9 percent month-on-month when adjusted for seasonal variations.
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