SET index up 5.45 points
- Published: 28/06/2013 at 04:59 PM
- Online news:
Thai stocks edged up 0.4% on Friday to record their first weekly gain in six weeks, as investors continued their bargain-hunting after the recent slump.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose 5.45 points to close at 1,451.90, an increase of 3.6% from the previous Friday's close of 1,400.50. Turnover was 58.86 billion baht, with 9.1 billion shares traded. The main index is up 4.3% from the end of 2012.
Despite being net sellers on Friday of 3 billion baht, Thai institutional investors have been picking up stocks at a record pace as an exodus of foreign money sends valuations to a nine-month low.
Domestic funds had bought a net 31.7 billion baht worth of Thai stocks this month through Thursday, on course for the biggest monthly inflow since Bloomberg began compiling exchange data in 1999.
Foreigners have sold a net 60.7 billion baht worth of shares this month, heading for a record outflow, though they were net buyers on Friday of 5.2 billion baht.
Brokers were net sellers on Friday of 499 million baht worth of Thai shares and retail investors were net sellers of 1.63 billion baht.
Investors were also encouraged on Friday by comments from key US Federal Reserve officials. The president of the New York Fed said the central bank would likely keep buying bonds if the economy failed to grow at the pace expected.
Jerome Powell said investors appeared to have incorrectly concluded that the Fed would taper off its purchases soon.
The US on Wednesday reported a final first-quarter GDP growth figure of 1.8%, well below the preliminary estimate of 2.4%, adding weight to arguments for the Fed to continue its stimulus.
Asian stock markets were buoyed by encouraging indicators from Japan, where industrial production rose 2% in May from April, the fourth straight monthly increase. As well, the consumer price index stopped falling for the first time in seven months.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index surged 3.5% to 13,677.32 on the news.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.8% to 20,803.29 while mainland Chinese shares also rose as fears eased of a credit crunch in China, analysts said. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.5% to 1,979.21 and the Shenzhen Composite rose 0.1% to 887.68. South Korea's Kospi added 1.6% to 1,863.32. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2% to 4,802.60. Taipei rose 2.26% to 8,062.21 and Manila jumped 2.17% to 6,465.28.
In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.1%, Germany's DAX was nearly unchanged and France's CAC-40 was off 0.3%. Wall Street was poised for gains, with Dow Jones and S&P futures both advancing 0.3%.
In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 982.99 points, up 4.03 points, with total trade value of 42.4 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares fell 6.90 points to 1,173.58, with turnover of 11.56 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment dipped 1.32 points to 392.21, with transaction value of 1.38 billion baht.
The five most active shares by value were Shin Corp (INTUCH), rising 3.25 baht to 87.00; Advanced Info Service (ADVANC), up 1 baht to 282; Bank of Ayudhya, which has been the object of takeover speculation, rising 1.25 baht to 35.50; KBANK, up 5 baht to 191; and KTB, up 60 satang to 20.30 baht.
In the currency markets, the baht gained sharply on Friday on demand for local currency as foreign investors went bargain-hunting on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
However, the currency has had its worst quarter since 2000 despite gains on Friday, as overseas investors reduced holdings of Thai bonds and stocks on the prospect of US Federal Reserve stimulus being scaled back.
The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 31.00/05 to the dollar, compared with 31.15/22 on Thursday, and 31.03/08 a week earlier.
The Thai currency has slumped 5.8% in the second quarter, the most since the three months through Sept 30, 2000. It has dropped 2.5% this month and touched 31.25 on June 21, the weakest level since Sept 7 last year.
The yield on 10-year government bonds increased in June by the most since March 2012 as global funds pulled $2.6 billion from Thai debt and equities, official data show.
The Finance Ministry on Thursday cut its 2013 growth forecast to between 4% and 5%, compared with a previous range of 4.8% to 5.8%, amid concern that the economy of China, Thailand’s largest export market, is slowing.
Exports dropped 5.3% in May from a year earlier after increasing 2.9% in April, official data showed this week.
"With concern about the Fed's reduction in quantitative easing, fund outflows accelerated and that weighed on the baht," said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. "Concern about China’s economy is also growing and that’s also negative for the baht."
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