SET drifts lower
- Published: 7/12/2012 at 04:57 PM
- Online news:
Thai stocks fell on Friday as world markets drifted ahead of the release of US job figures later in the day and key Chinese economic data on Sunday.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index closed down 4.93 points from Thursday at 1,334.95, but was up 0.8% from the previous Friday's close of 1,324.04. Turnover was 35.19 billion baht, with 7.33 billion shares traded.
Weak sentiment hurt the SET debut of the residential developer Ananda Development Plc (ANAN), which closed at 3.80 baht, down 40 satang from its initial public offering price of 4.20 baht, on the day's highest turnover of 2.2 billion baht.
Foreign investors were net sellers of 103.4 million baht worth of Thai shares and local brokers sold 159.7 million. Local institutions were net sellers of 688.95 million baht while individual investors were the only net buyers, at 951.7 million baht.
World stock markets were mixed ahead of the release of a closely watched US employment report that is expected to reflect a downturn in hiring following the massive storm on the East Coast last month.
The November job figures from the US Labor Department were due around 9pm Friday Thailand time. Private economists expect the figures will show a weakening job market in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
European markets were weak after the European Central Bank said on Thursday that the 17-state euro zone economy would contract next year. It stopped short of offering new measures to spur growth and left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low.
Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1% to 5,898.67 in early trade on Friday. Germany's DAX was also marginally down at 7,530.30. France's CAC-40 dropped 0.1% to 3,600.26. Dow Jones industrial futures shed 0.1% to 13,057 and S&P 500 futures lost 0.1% to 1,411.50.
Some markets in Asia dipped amid profit-taking following early gains. After opening higher, Japan's Nikkei 225 ended the day down 0.2% at 9,527.39. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4% to 1,957.45. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9% to 4,551.80. Hong Kong's Hang Seng reversed course and closed down 0.3% to 22,191.17.
Mainland Chinese shares posted substantial gains after recent sharp sell-offs. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.6% to 2,061.79. The Shenzhen Composite jumped 2.1% to 786.05.
Chris Weston of IG Markets in Melbourne said the coming release on Sunday of inflation, retail sales and factory output data from China was expected to point to a modestly improving economy. That helped boost mainland stocks.
Traders were also looking forward to next week's meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers. Mr Weston said he expected Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to announce new measures to replace Operation Twist, a programme under which the Fed sells $45 billion a month in short-term Treasurys and then buys an equal amount of long-term securities. It expires this month.
"If it doesn't get announced, then there are real risks that we'll see a sizeable sell-off in risk assets," he said.
In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 905.71 points, down 3.52 points, with total trade value of 20.84 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares fell 6.04 points to 1,169.15, with turnover of 7.21 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment shed 1.97 points to 400.38, with transaction value of 2.5 billion baht.
The five most active shares by value were Ananda Development (ANAN), down 40 satang at 3.80 baht; PTTEP, down 2.50 baht at 153; BBL, up 50 satang at 185 baht; SCB, up two baht at 171; and INTUCH, down 50 satang to 66 baht.
In the debt market, 10-year Thai government bonds completed a weekly advance on speculation that Asean's good economic outlook and yield advantage over developed nations will attract investors. The baht was little changed.
The Asian Development Bank said on Friday that private consumption and investment were bolstering Southeast Asian economies even as the rest of the region is expanding less than earlier estimated.
International funds bought $391 million more local government bonds than they sold in the first two days of this week, according to the Thai Bond Market Association.
"Inflows into Asia will continue as the region's growth will accelerate, making it an attractive destination, said Dariusz Kowalczyk,'' a Hong Kong-based strategist at Credit Agricole. "Moreover, higher interest rates will bring in more funds, putting upward pressure on currencies."
The yield on the 3.625% bond due in June 2023 dropped four basis points this week to 3.55%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ten-year sovereign bonds pay 1.58% in the US, 1.75% in the UK, 1.30% in Germany and 0.70% in Japan, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Developing Asian economies will grow 6% this year and 6.6% in 2013, the Manila-based ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook 2012 Supplement as it lowered its forecasts by 0.1 point for each period. Among the region's economic areas, it only raised its projections for Asean, predicting an expansion of 5.3% in 2012 from 5.2% earlier.
The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 30.65/68 to the dollar, compared with 30.64/67 on Thursday and 30.68/70 a week earlier.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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