SET index drops 10.24 points
- Published: 3/05/2013 at 05:01 PM
- Online news:
Thai stocks fell 0.6% on Friday in thin trade as an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank the day before failed to rouse investor sentiment.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index shed 10.24 points to close at 1,578.95, down 0.2% from the previous Friday's close of 1,582.93. Turnover was low at 43.9 billion baht, with 9.79 billion shares traded. The local market is up 13.5% from the end of 2012.
The European Central Bank on Thursday reduced its policy rate by 25 basis points to 0.5% in an attempt to spur the faltering euro zone economy, but analysts said the move had been widely expected. The ECB on Friday forecast the euro zone economy would contract by 0.4% this year.
Foreign investors were net sellers on Friday of 1.19 billion baht worth of Thai shares. Local institutions were net sellers of 905.45 million baht and brokers sold 19.22 million. Individual investors were net buyers of 2.12 billion baht.
For the month to date, foreign investors have sold 1.34 billion baht more in Thai shares than they have bought, bringing their net-sale position for the year to 17.29 billion baht.
World stock markets were mixed as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the release of US unemployment figures later in the day.
In Europe the FTSE in London opened almost unchanged, Germany's DAX rose 0.1% and France's CAC-40 slipped less than 0.1%. An interest rate cut by the European Central Bank had given markets in Europe a small lift on Thursday.
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1% to 22,689.96. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4% to 1,965.71, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was nearly unchanged at 5,129.50.
Mainland Chinese stocks posted sharp gains, due mainly to bargain-hunting after a sharp fall. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.4% to 2,205.5 while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 2% to 936.58.
Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.
In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 1,042.70 points, down 7.78 points, with total trade value of 21.97 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares fell 10.69 points to 1,246.48, with turnover of 6.09 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment shed 1.57 points to 500.92, with transaction value of 1.42 billion baht.
The five most active shares by value were the telecom equipment firm Jasmine International (JAS), down 50 satang at 7.90 baht; the 7-Eleven operator CPALL, unchanged at 41.50; the Skytrain operator BTS, down 30 satang at 8.55 baht; INTUCH, down 1.25 at 85.25; and DEMCO, down 20 satang to 17.10 baht.
In the currency markets, the baht fell the most in a week and interest-rate swaps dropped to a two-year low on speculation the central bank would cut its policy rate to stem capital inflows.
Bank of Thailand chairman Virabongsa Ramangkura, who is not a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, added his voice to the call for a rate cut, saying the currency's advance had affected exports and the economy.
"Investors and traders are becoming nervous about how the central bank would deal with the policy as pressure is growing," said Disawat Tiaowvanich, a foreign-exchange trader at Bangkok Bank.
"When investors see uncertain factors they want to unwind positions, leading to dollar repurchases."
The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 29.56/62 per dollar, compared with 29.42/44 on Thursday and 29.33/39 a week earlier. The five-day drop was the biggest since the week ended Sept 23, 2011.
Government bonds rose as odds for a cut in borrowing costs mounted. The yield on the 3.625% notes due in May 2015 has fallen 11 basis points this week, the largest five-day slide since February.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters