Recap: Asian stock markets rebounded last week on investors' growing optimism that the US Federal Reserve would not start pulling back its monthly asset purchases in the months ahead. Locally, growing nervousness ahead of the second reading of the revised amnesty bill in the House of Representatives dimmed sentiment, though good bank earnings helped cushion some losses.
The SET Index traded in the range of 1,438.64 and 1,485.67 points before closing at 1,454.88, down 2% from the previous week, with moderate turnover of 34.06 billion baht a day. Foreign investors were net buyers of 883.89 million baht, retail investors bought 4.24 billion and brokers 519.6 million baht, and local institutions were net sellers of 5.64 billion baht.
Big movers: TRUE led in turnover and volume, closing down 8.1% at 9.05 baht. ADVANC fell 4.1% to 256 baht, KBANK shed 3.1% to 186 baht, and AOT was down 1.4% to 214 baht. Electronics Industry (EIC), last week's top gainer, soared 102.3% to 3.44 baht. Top loser Natural Park (N-PARK) lost 14.3% to 0.06 baht.
Newsmakers The HSBC flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China stood at a seven-month high of 50.9 in October, up from 50.2 in September, signalling improved manufacturing health.
- The euro zone Flash Composite PMI fell to 51.5 in October from September's two-year high of 52.5.
- The Pheu Thai Party will meet tomorrow to discuss its stance on the contentious blanket amnesty bill, while House deliberation expected next month. Anti-government groups plan their next street rally on Nov 6.
- The Bank of Thailand lowered its 2013 GDP growth projection to 3.7% from 4.2% forecast in July on soft domestic demand and a delayed export recovery. It cut its 2013 export growth forecast to 1% from 4%.
- Moody's Investors Service sees higher risks for Thailand's commercial banking system as a result of rising household debt. However, the overall conditions of Thai banks remain stable on strong provisions.
- The SET plans a "dynamic price band" to control the movements of stocks fluctuating abnormally, those traded through high-frequency trading (HFT) systems in particular.
- The value of exports for September contracted 7.1% to US$19.3 billion, while imports were down 5.23% to $18.83 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $473.2 million.
- The NBTC said four licensed digital TV network providers must cover 50% of the country in their first year of operations, 80% in the second year, 90% in the third and 95% in the fourth.
- The AOT board has approved a rise in the departure tax for domestic flights to 200 baht from 200, and from 700 baht to 800 baht for international flights, starting in mid-2014. It also proposes paying staff an 11-month bonus from its fat profits this year, a lot of it coming from forex gains.
- Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc expanded its renewable business in Australia by investing 6.9 billion baht to develop two solar farms with a capacity of 53 megawatts.
- BTS Group Holdings will pay out at least 6 billion baht in dividends for the fiscal year ending next March 31, with dividend payments to rise by 1 billion baht annually over the next two years on fast-growing revenue.
- As Thai sugar is the cheapest in Asean, millers are repeating their call for the Industry Ministry to float its price to prevent smuggling when the Asean Economic Community (AEC) is formed. In Thailand, white sugar retails at 22.6 baht per kilogramme and white refined sugar 23.6 baht.
- Electrolux, the world's second-biggest home appliance maker, will eliminate 2,000 jobs after reporting earnings below estimates, close a factory in Australia and move production to Thailand.
Coming up this week: The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, with results to be announced around 2am Thursday Thailand time.
- Other US data due this week include retail sales for September tomorrow, and job figures on Wednesday.
- The Bank of Thailand's monthly trade, private consumption and investment report for September will be released on Thursday. The Bank of Japan meets the same day.
Stocks to watch: Asia Plus Securities recommends selling IVL, NWR, TRUE and SYNTEC for short-term gains and holding STEC, PYLON, BTS and TPIPL for the medium to long term.
Finnasia Syrus Securities recommends buying telecom stocks ADVANC, INTUCH, THCOM, TRUE and JAS. KGI Securities says mid-caps should outperform big-caps in the near term.
Technical view: Asia Plus Securities tips support at 1,440 and resistance at 1,479. Finnasia Syrus sees support at 1,430 and resistance at 1,500.