Recap: Global stock markets declined late last week as speculation that the Federal Reserve will start reducing its stimulus in the coming months eclipsed improving Chinese manufacturing data. Escalating political tensions also exacerbated weak sentiment on the Thai bourse.
The SET index traded in a range of 1,418.87 and 1,463.02 points and closed on Friday at 1,429.08, down 1.7% on the week, on daily turnover of 30.79 billion baht. Institutional investors were net sellers of 327.31 million baht, brokers 2.04 billion and foreigners 2.83 billion baht, while retail investors bought 5.19 billion baht more than they sold.
Big movers: Thai Wah Starch (TWS) resumed trading on Thursday and soared on Friday to 19.80 baht from 1.72 baht, the last price before its long suspension, as the week's top gainer. Jasmine International (JAS) led in turnover, down 12.57% to 8 baht, followed by TRUE, down 5% to 8.60 baht; and ADVANC, off 2.3% to 250 baht. PS28CC, last week's top loser, sank 84.6 to 0.02 baht.
Newsmakers: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained its $85-billion monthly asset purchase programme as expected in a bid to stimulate US economic growth and employment.
- US private sector employment rose by 130,000 jobs in October, lower than forecasts of 150,000.
- China's manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in 18 months in October. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.4 from 51.1 in September.
- Euro zone consumer prices in October rose at the slowest pace in four years, with annual inflation of just 0.7%, down from 1.1% in September.
- The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) will revise its 2013 GDP growth forecast in December from 3.7% and export growth of 1.8% due to lower-than-expected consumption and increased political risks.
- Thailand is poised to end the year with export growth of only 1.3%, the lowest since 2010, as it is highly unlikely that shipments will reach $22 billion a month on average for the remaining three months, says the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
- The House quickly passed the second and the third readings of the blanket amnesty bill, as anti-amnesty protesters dug in at four separate sites.
- Commercial bank loan growth slowed in September as there was less demand for retail and corporate loans, with domestic investment waning and loan scrutiny tightened.
- PTTEP is keen to acquire Hess Corporation's assets in Thailand and Indonesia to boost production and petroleum reserves.
- Siam Cement Group expects the recent floods to cut 2013 growth in cement sales growth to 5% from an original forecast of 7%.
- PTT has renewed its concession with the Cambodian government to provide jet fuel services for 5 more years through 2018 at airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
- Thai Union Frozen Products Plc, the world's biggest tuna company, plans to increase value-added products to 20% of sales from 5-10% now, aiming to more than double revenue to $8 billion by 2020.
- The Supreme Court overturned Jasmine International's rehabilitation plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court in 2003. Its legal adviser estimated creditors with debt before Sept 17, 2002, would be entitled to make claims against the company for an additional amount of up to 1.34 billion baht.
Coming up this week: The Senate is expected to debate the amnesty bill from Nov 8 to 11.
- Euro zone manufacturing PMI and US factory orders for August and September are due today.
Stocks to watch: CIMB Securities (Thailand) expects the political situation will become clearer now that the House has voted on the amnesty bill. It recommends speculative buys on BTS, HMPRO, IVL, PSL, SAMART and CSS.
Technical view: Kasikorn Securities sees support during the next two weeks at 1,380 and 1,400 and resistance at 1,500.