Rare down week for SET

Thai stocks rose Friday but not enough to prevent the market's first weekly decline in two months, while the baht touched to a 10-month high against the US dollar.

  • Published: 11/01/2013 at 04:58 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index gained 6.07 points from Thursday to close at 1,412.06, down 0.3% from the previous Friday's close of 1,416.66 for its first decline since the week ended Nov 16. Turnover was heavy at 54.89 billion baht, with 14.57 billion shares traded.

The SET fell 1.2% on Thursday, its steepest decline in five months, on what exchange executives said was profit-taking by foreign investors. The index dropped further to 1,392.61 shortly after Friday's opening but recovered in the afternoon.

Market officials also signalled some concern about speculation, listing 10 stocks, mostly of small companies, for which investors must pay cash upfront.

The baht climbed to 30.22 to the dollar early in the day -- its highest since March last year -- and was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 30.26/28, compared with 30.28/30 on Thursday and 30.52/54 a week earlier.

"Stocks have been rising and economic data are quite solid, and so funds are flowing to the riskier assets," said Kozo Hasegawa, a foreign-exchange trader in Bangkok at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. "That supports Asian currencies and such a trend may remain for now."

Foreign funds so far this month have bought 5.24 billion baht more in local shares than they sold as of Friday, and are net buyers of $1.4 billion worth of Thai government bonds.

On the SET, foreign investors were net sellers on Friday of 60.21 million baht worth of Thai shares and local brokers sold 1.56 billion. Local institutions were net buyers of 551.44 million baht and individual investors bought 1.07 billion.

The SET50 index of blue chips ended at 950.08 points, up 2.98 points, with total trade value of 34.46 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 3.39 points to 1,243.85, with turnover of 13.69 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 2.01 points to 434.31, with transaction value of 3.07 billion baht.

The five most active shares by value were Bangkok Land (BLAND), rising 11 satang to 1.41 baht; PTT Global Chemical, up 3.25 to 76.00; SCB, down 5 baht to 175.50; PTT, down one baht to 326; and Advanced Info Service (ADVANC), up 4 baht to 201.

Japan's Nikkei index jumped after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a massive spending package intended to breathe life into the moribund economy. But stock markets elsewhere were lacklustre.

The Nikkei 225 gained 1.4% to close at 10,801.57 following Abe's announcement of an anti-recession package of more than 20 trillion yen ($224 billion) that is intended to add two percentage points to Japan's real growth.

European stocks opened marginally higher and Wall Street futures were flat in the absence of any major news in developed economies.

In Asia Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 23,264.07 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5% to 1,996.67. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.3% to 4,709.50. Benchmarks in Singapore and mainland China also fell while those in the Philippines and New Zealand rose.

Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong, said the market dips were likely driven by investors cashing in after recent market rallies.

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