SET index rises 0.4%

Thai stocks advanced 0.4% on Friday as Asian markets rose on encouraging retail sales and jobs figures in the United States, analysts said.

  • Published: 5/10/2012 at 05:00 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index closed up 4.72 points from the day before at 1,311.35, a gain of 0.9% from the previous Friday's close. Turnover was 38 billion baht, with 6.98 billion shares traded.

Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday of 538.4 million baht worth of Thai shares and institutions bought 140.65 million. Local brokers sold 194.1 million baht and individual investors sold 484.95 million.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index was 0.2% higher to 8,844.93 after the Bank of Japan announced no change in the country's key interest rate following a two-day policy meeting.

South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2% to 1,995.98 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3% to 20,968.09. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia and New Zealand also rose. Markets in China are closed for a public holiday.

Despite global economic woes -- including a debt crisis in Europe and a growth slowdown in China -- stock markets have gained ground, thanks in part to investment optimism fuelled by the stimulus actions of the US and European central banks.  

But some analysts said having so much money sloshing around the global economy runs the risk of creating asset bubbles and overloading governments with debt that they cannot repay.

"Stock markets in Asia are on a steroid high. Because of quantitative easing, the flood of liquidity is creating asset bubbles," said Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong.

In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 889.77 points, up 2.79 points, with total trade value of 20.77 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 4.17 points to 1,146.05, with turnover of 9.65 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 8.22 points to close at 379.17, with transaction value of 4.3 billion baht.

The five most active shares by value were PTT, rising one baht to 322; the oil trader SUSCO, which is acquiring the Petronas retail business in Thailand, up 0.60 baht or 20.4% to 3.48; Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), down 1 baht to 34.75; TRUE, down 0.20 baht to 5.50, and Thai Oil Plc (TOP), up 0.25 baht to 62.75.

In the currency markets, the baht and government bonds advanced for a second week as monetary easing in developed nations boosted inflows into higher-yielding securities in Thailand and other emerging markets.

The baht touched a six-month high of 30.52 to the US dollar and the five-year government bond yield dropped to the lowest level in almost a month as global funds pumped a net $260 million into Thai sovereign debt, according to data from the Thai Bond Market Association.

The Thai benchmark interest rate of 3% compares with a maximum 0.25% in the US and Japan.

"With global central banks introducing measures to support their economies, risk sentiment is improving," said Tsutomu Soma, manager of the investment trust and fixed-income unit at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo.

The baht was trading late on Friday in Bangkok at 30.56 to the dollar, compared with 30.56/60 on Thursday and 30.76/80 a week ago.

Foreign investors in the week through Thursday had bought $98 million more worth of Thai stocks than they sold, SET data show.

The yield on the 3.25% bonds due in June 2017 fell four basis points to 3.27% from a week ago.

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