RE­CAP: US stock ex­changes kept ris­ing this week de­spite in­creas­ing signs of mixed opin­ions among US Fed­eral Re­serve mem­bers on in­ter­est rates, as in­vestors fo­cused on the op­er­at­ing re­sults of ma­jor US listed com­pa­nies.

Do­mes­tic fac­tors had a greater ef­fect on the lo­cal mar­ket than ex­ter­nal ones. The SET in­dex broke 1,700 points af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha af­firmed that the gen­eral elec­tion would be held in Novem­ber 2018. The in­dex re­mained above the sig­nif­i­cant re­sis­tance line through Thurs­day.

The in­dex moved be­tween 1,687.97 and 1,719.60 points be­fore clos­ing the hol­i­day-short­ened week at 1,712.48, up 1% from the pre­vi­ous week, in heavy turnover av­er­ag­ing 68.14 bil­lion baht a day. For­eign in­vestors were net buy­ers for the sec­ond straight week of 5.09 bil­lion baht, fol­lowed by bro­ker­ages at 1.76 bil­lion and in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors at 1.46 bil­lion, while re­tail in­vestors sold 8.32 bil­lion baht worth of shares.

NEWS­MAK­ERS: The In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) has cut its fore­casts for the US econ­omy, and says it longer ex­pects Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s pro­posed tax cuts to hap­pen. The IMF fore­casts 2.2% growth this year and 2.3% in 2018, a de­cline from April when it pro­jected 2.3% growth this year and 2.5% in 2018. Tokyo’s main stock in­dex closed at a two-decade high on Wed­nes­day as op­ti­mism spread across global mar­kets. The Nikkei 225 added 0.3%, or 57.7 points, to end at 20,881.2. It was the best fin­ish for the in­dex since 1996 and fol­lowed fresh record highs on Wall Street overnight.

China and South Korea have failed to ex­tend their US$56-bil­lion cur­rency swap deal amid diplo­matic ten­sion over Seoul’s in­stal­la­tion of a con­tro­ver­sial US mis­sile shield. The ex­ten­sion of the eight-year-old deal had been seen as a yard­stick for re­la­tions be­tween the two neigh­bours. Euro zone fi­nance min­is­ters are re­view­ing the role of their bailout fund in euro zone in­te­gra­tion. Most be­lieve the fund should con­tinue to be owned by gov­ern­ments, play a role in cri­sis preven­tion and be­come a back­stop for a bank res­o­lu­tion fund. The Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism was cre­ated at the height of the sovereign debt cri­sis as a lender of last re­sort to gov­ern­ments. It has a lending ca­pac­ity of €500 bil­lion (US$588 bil­lion).

China’s top e-com­merce firm, Alibaba Group Hold­ing, is launch­ing a $15-bil­lion drive to build over­seas re­search hubs as it looks to com­pete with global lead­ers in e-com­merce, lo­gis­tics and cloud tech­nol­ogy.

Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha has fi­nally an­nounced that a gen­eral elec­tion will be held in Novem­ber next year af­ter a week of con­fu­sion, though he has still not pinned down an ex­act date. The an­nounce­ment re­sulted in a jump in the Thai stock mar­ket, which closed above 1,700 points on Tues­day for the first time in 24 years. Shares in Thai air­lines moved sharply higher on Mon­day af­ter the Thai au­thor­i­ties con­firmed that the In­ter­na­tional Civil Aviation Or­ga­ni­za­tion had re­moved its “red flag” against Thai­land for sub­stan­dard aviation safety over­sight and reg­u­la­tion.

Prime Min­is­ter Prayut in­sisted on Tues­day that Thai­land has not yet struck any deal to al­low pork im­ports from the United States. He said he did not dis­cuss the mat­ter with US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dur­ing his visit to the White House last week. How­ever, Gen Prayut ad­mit­ted it was a trade is­sue that a spe­cial com­mit­tee needs to re­view.

Cut­ting the ex­emp­tion ceil­ing for first homes to 20 million baht from 50 million will nearly triple the num­ber of res­i­dences sub­ject to the land and build­ings tax to 30,000, says Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Wisudhi Srisuphan. Pas­sage of the law is look­ing in­creas­ingly doubt­ful, how­ever.

CP All ended sales of fresh draught beer at its 7-Eleven con­ve­nience stores in the face of strong op­po­si­tion from anti-al­co­hol cam­paign­ers.

TOA Paint Plc, a maker of dec­o­ra­tive paint and coat­ing prod­ucts, be­gan trad­ing Tues­day on the SET, aim­ing to raise funds to ex­pand three fac­to­ries in the re­gion. At 48.7 bil­lion baht, TOA is the sec­ond-largest SET-listed com­pany by mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion to list this year, trail­ing TPI Po­lene Power Plc (58.8 bil­lion) and ahead of B Grimm Power Plc (40.7 bil­lion). Three groups of in­vestors, one of them lo­cal, have shown in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing a size­able stake in the state-owned Is­lamic Bank of Thai­land. Lo­cal me­dia re­cently re­ported Wichai Thong­tang, a ma­jor share­holder of Bangkok Dusit Med­i­cal Ser­vices Plc, was among the in­ter­ested in­vestors.

COMING UP: China will re­lease lo­cal lending data for Septem­ber to­day. On Mon­day Bei­jing will re­lease con­sumer and pro­ducer prices for Septem­ber.

On Tues­day, Malaysia will re­lease job­less fig­ures for Au­gust and Singapore will re­lease trade fig­ures for Septem­ber. The UK and EU will re­lease Septem­ber in­fla­tion data the same day.

STOCKS TO WATCH: Tisco Se­cu­ri­ties rec­om­mends shares of listed com­pa­nies that will ben­e­fit from Thai­land’s eco­nomic growth and those with fu­ture busi­ness ex­pan­sion plans in bank­ing, com­merce and me­dia sec­tors. Also, those ben­e­fit­ing from the gen­eral elec­tion next year in­clude TCAP, TMB, BEAUTY, BIG, COM7, ROBINS, PLANB, TKS, VGI, KBANK, BANPU, INTUCH, AMATA, JMART, ERW and MINT.

KT Zmico Se­cu­ri­ties fore­casts banks will re­port good third-quar­ter earn­ings. Its stock picks are TCAP and eq­ui­ties in tourism (ERW) and petro­chem­i­cals (IRPC).

TECH­NI­CAL VIEW: Bualu­ang Se­cu­ri­ties sees sup­port at 1,680 points and re­sis­tance at 1,720. KT Zmico Se­cu­ri­ties sees sup­port at 1,680 points and re­sis­tance at 1,750.

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