Recap: Asian bourses last week rebounded after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the world's largest economy still needed more monetary stimulus. His comments reassured investors that the Fed would not start paring its stimulus in months to come.
The SET index traded in a range of 1,375.52 and 1,459.55 points and closed on Friday at 1,453.71, up 0.86% from a week ago, with moderate average turnover of 45.02 billion baht a day. Foreign investors were net buyers of 1.72 billion baht and brokers bought 2.53 billion. Local retail investors were net sellers of 2.86 billion baht, and local institutions sold 1.38 billion.
Big movers: Banks, ICT and energy led the table: KTB closed down 1.5% at 19.90 baht on worries over its loans to cash-strapped Saha Farms. BAY closed unchanged at 37.50 baht, INTUCH fell 0.6% to 85.50 baht, and KBANK rose 3.6% to 188 baht. Natural Park (N-PARK) led in volume, up 28.6% on the week to close at 0.09 baht. Yong Thai (YCI), the top gainer, closed up 33.3% at 14 baht, and top loser Mida-Medalist Entertainment shed 20.9% to 1.82 baht.
Newsmakers: Ben Bernanke said easy-money policy was still necessary as the US recovery was still tepid. His comments sent the dollar down, the 10-year bond yield fell and emerging stock markets rose.
- Thailand's economy is expected to expand in a range of 4.5% to 4.7% this year, with state infrastructure projects the major growth driver, said Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
- The central bank's Monetary Policy Committee left its policy rate unchanged at 2.50%, a level economists expect will persist at least until year-end.
- The Securities Analysts Association trimmed its SET index year-end target to 1,569 points. It also forecast that the economy would grow 4.6% this year and listed firms' earnings would rise 20%. The construction sector holds the best potential for growth, it said.
- Greece received 3 billion euros in fresh aid, easing debt worries. Now attention has shifted to Portugal where the president has ordered the government and opposition to find a way to make austerity measures work.
- The IMF further cut its global GDP growth forecast to 3.1%. It cut the figure for China to 7.75%, the US to 1.7%, and five Asean nations comprising Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam to 5.6%.
- Standard & Poor's trimmed Italy's credit rating from BBB+ to BBB, the first cut in 18 months.
- The water treatment specialist Hydrotek has postponed indefinitely a planned merger with Universal Adsorbents & Chemicals (UAC) because of unfavourable market conditions.
- The SET-listed production house Workpoint Entertainment (WORK) has joined DNA Fresh Air Festival Co, an event organiser, in a show business. The new 50:50 venture, Workpoint DNA Fresh Air Festival, will have 300 million baht in capital.
Coming up this week: China will report preliminary Q2 GDP data today. A weak number could send Asian shares tumbling.
- The Bank of Japan's next meeting will take place on Thursday.
- SET-listed banks will begin the Q2 earnings season on Thursday.
- CK Power, the first SET-listed holding company with overseas operations, will make its trading debut on Thursday.
- The Bank of Thailand will announce its revised GDP forecast on Friday.
Stocks to watch: Asia Plus Securities has buy recommendations for BBL, INTUCH, PTTEP, SVI, STEC, and TOP.
- Country Group Securities recommends TCAP as it will book a gain of around 5 billion baht from the divestment of Thanachart Life Assurance, and GFPT on higher profit driven by rising chicken prices and falling soybean costs.
Technical view: Asia Plus tips support at 1,380 to 1,420 and resistance at 1,492. Finansia Syrus sees support at 1,400 points and resistance at 1,480.
About the author
Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee & Darana Chudasri