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A child watches the trading board. The SET index is down sharply on the first day of 2014.

A child watches the trading board. The SET index is down sharply on the first day of 2014.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand staged a lacklustre trading on the first day of 2014, shedding as much as 2.53 per cent due mainly to political stalemate.

The Thai baht also weakened with the faster-than-expected speed on the poor outlook to 32.9 per US dollar.

At noon, the SET index lost 32.84 points to 1,265.87 points on turnover of Bt15 billion.

The index ended last year at 1,298.71 points.

The Election Commission yesterday announced that the election candidacy registration was completed in only 347 out of 375 constituencies. A discussion would take place today on what to do with the constituencies, mostly in some southern provinces, where candidates could not register for the February 2 election.

Meanwhile, Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) set January 13 for another mass rally.

The PDRC vowed to block the election and still pushed for the resignation of the interim government.

Coupled with the "tapering" of the US bond-buying programme, the political statemate put heavy pressure on the Thai stock market.

In December, foreign investors sold Bt40.5 billion net on Thai shares, boosting the year-to-date net sales to Bt193.9 billion. Last year, the SET index lost 6.70 per cent, but in last six month the lost went up to 9.90 per cent.

As foreign investors are expected to maintain their sell-off, Asia Plus Securities revised the stock exchange’s 2014 daily turnover forecast from Bt45 billion to Bt35 billion.

The securities industry as a whole is expected to underperform the SET index this year.




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