RTTNews - The winning streak has hit four sessions now for the Thai stock market, which has garnered more than 30 points or 5.5 percent in the process. The Stock Exchange of Thailand broke through resistance at 600 points, and now traders are looking for continued gains when the market opens on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly positive, with strength expected from the financial and oil sectors in particular - although turnout may be light ahead of some key economic data out of the United States later in this holiday-shortened trading week. The European markets finished sharply higher, while the U.S. bourses also ended firmly in the green - and the Asian markets are tipped also to move solidly higher.
The SET finished modestly higher on Monday as weakness in the energy sector weighed on gains among the financials.
For the day, the index jumped 5.80 points or 0.97 percent to close at 601.60 after trading between 594.34 and 603.26. Volume was 3.776 billion shares worth 17.504 billion baht. There were 162 gainers and 133 decliners, with 134 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, coal producer Banpu was up 0.59 percent, while Kasikornbank added 2.26 percent, Bangkok Bank gained 1 percent and Siam Cement jumped 4.3 percent. Bucking the trend, PTT Exploration and Production was off 0.38 percent and PTT Aromatics shed 0.54 percent.
Wall Street offers a positive lead as stocks were able to move firmly into positive territory in mid-morning trade on Monday, hovering near their highs for most of remainder of the session after a choppy start. The major averages kicked off the week on a strong note, finishing up by notable margins amid a low volume trading session.
The light volume came as some traders remained on the sidelines ahead of the release of key economic figures later in the week. Traders are looking ahead to data on home prices, consumer confidence, manufacturing and employment.
Amid a light day on the economic front, the sentencing of Bernard Madoff for his $65 billion Ponzi scheme drew some attention, with Madoff receiving the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison. Despite arguments from his defense and words from the former financier himself that he was truly sorry, Judge Denny Chin ensured that Madoff would spend the rest of his life in jail.
On the corporate front, Apple (AAPL) confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs is back at work on a part-time basis, returning after a nearly six-month medical leave during which he underwent a liver transplant. Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman (NOC) saw some strength after it received a contract along with Cobham for the supply of an upgraded vehicle intercom system from the U.S. Army. The contract is valued at up to $2.4 billion.
The major indices all closed higher, with the Dow and the S&P 500 finishing near their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up 90.99 points or 1.1 percent at 8,529.38, the NASDAQ closed up 5.84 points or 0.3 percent at 1,844.06, and the S&P rose 8.33 points or 0.9 percent to 927.23.
In economic news, Thailand will on Tuesday provide May figures for imports, exports and trade balance, along with current account and manufacturing production. Imports are forecast to fall 34.7 percent on year after the 36.4 percent annual decline in April. Exports are called lower by 27 percent after the 25.2 percent fall in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to show a surplus of $2.321 billion after the $619 million surplus in the previous month. The current account is forecast at $1.958 billion after coming in at $426 million in April. Manufacturing production is predicted to contract 9.3 percent on year after the 9.7 percent decline a month earlier.
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