SET up 4.86 to 1,458.02 points

Thai stocks rose 0.3% on Friday to complete a 3% rise on the week amid signs that the military junta is moving quickly revive spending and investment to spur the economy.

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The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index gained 4.86 points from Thursday to close at 1,458.02, an increase of 3% from the previous Friday's close of 1,415.73. Turnover was 45.39 billion baht, with 8.03 billion shares traded.

The local market is up 12.3% from the end of 2013.

Investors are also hopeful that the decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates to negative levels to jolt the sluggish euro zone economy will result in more funds entering emerging markets in the coming days.

Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday of 306.9 million baht worth of Thai shares, bringing their net buying for the month to 8 billion baht. For the year to date they are net sellers of 32.6 billion baht.

Local institutions were net sellers of 696.6 million baht while brokers bought 272.6 million and individual investors were net buyers of 117 million baht. 

In the global markets, European stocks edged higher a day after the landmark ECB decision but other benchmarks struggled as investors awaited the US jobs report for May.

Germany's DAX was up 0.2%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.1% and Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.3% in early trade. US stocks were poised to open higher with Dow futures up 0.2% and S&P 500 futures up 0.1%.

Most Asian benchmarks ended lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed nearly flat at 15,077.24 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.7% to 22,951.04 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 2,029.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% to 5,464.00. Markets in South Korea were closed for a holiday.

In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 983.64 points, up 3.53, on turnover of 22.81 billion baht, and the SET100 rose 8.81 points to 2,166.64 in trade worth 31.88 billion. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 6.80 points to 1,152.61, with turnover of 11.99 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 4.81 points to 474.93, with transaction value of 2.62 billion baht.

In the currency markets, the baht was the best-performing Asian currency this week as investors responded to the junta's pledge to boost spending to revive economic growth.

The decision by the European Central Bank to cut interest rates to negative is expected to spur further fund flows to emerging-market assets.

"The perception is that the new Thailand government has provided stability and improved conditions for growth," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Credit Agricole CIB.

The baht appreciated 0.9% this week, the most since February, and was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 32.56/59 to the dollar, compared with 32.65/67 on Thursday and 32.85/87 a week earlier.

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