(RTTNews) – The Thai stock market has climbed higher in consecutive trading days, gathering almost 20 points or 1 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now sits just beneath the 1,655-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky following reports that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has fueled a worldwide spike in the illness. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.
The SET finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and a mixed picture from the energy producers.
For the day, the index advanced 11.81 points or 0.72 percent to finish at 1,653.33 after trading between 1,641.75 and 1,654.98. Volume was 24.677 billion shares worth 72.564 billion baht. There were 849 gainers and 641 decliners, with 656 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Advanced Info jumped 1.78 percent, while Thailand Airport climbed 1.67 percent, Bangkok Bank advanced 1.26 percent, Bangkok Dusit Medical, PTT Global Chemical and CP All Public all added 0.43 percent, Bangkok Expressway lost 0.59 percent, BTS Group gained 0.53 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods soared 4.60 percent, Delta Electronics plummeted 5.91 percent, Energy Absolute spiked 3.49 percent, Kasikornbank collected 0.71 percent, Krung Thai Card accelerated 3.00 percent, PTT perked 0.66 percent, PTT Exploration and Production fell 0.42 percent, SCG Packaging improved 1.82 percent, Siam Commercial Bank rallied 2.41 percent, Siam Concrete increased 1.57 percent, True Corporation gathered 0.85 percent, TTB Bank surged 3.50 percent and Gulf, IRPC, Krung Thai Bank and PTT Oil & Retail were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity. All three of the major averages opened higher on Wednesday, and the Dow stayed that way throughout. The NASDAQ quickly turned lower and finished slightly under the line. The S&P 500 bounced back and forth and ended slightly in the green.
The Dow advanced 90.42 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 36,488.63, while the NASDAQ dipped 15.51 points or 0.10 percent to close at 15,766.22 and the S&P rose 6.71 points or 0.14 percent to end at 4,793.06.
Traders seemed reluctant to continue making significant moves following recent strength in the markets, which has helped stocks recover from the sell-off seen in reaction to initial reports about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
While Omicron has contributed to a surge in new coronavirus cases around the world, traders seem optimistic that the milder symptoms associated with the new strain will not lead to a significant economic slowdown.
On the U.S. economic front, the National Association of Realtors noted an unexpected pullback in pending home sales in November.
Crude oil prices moved higher Wednesday, extending recent gains after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week. Crude oil for February delivery climbed $0.58 or 0.8 percent to $76.56 a barrel.
Closer to home, Thailand will see November figures for current account and retail sales later today. In October, the current account deficit was $1.1 billion, while retail sales slumped 3.3 percent on year.