BANGKOK, March 1 (Reuters) - Thai stocks may be rangebound with a negative bias on Thursday, a day after the benchmark index soared to its highest in almost 16 years, with buying interest expected in energy shares, but weakness elsewhere in Asia could prompt quick profit taking.
Asian shares mostly fell on Thursday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put the brakes on a recent rally by not signalling any further monetary easing to stimulate growth, while investors shifted their focus to manufacturing data due later in the day.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index fell 0.39 percent by 0216 GMT. On Wednesday, Thailand's SET index climbed 1.28 percent to 1,160.90, its highest in almost 16 years, led by banking shares.
Foreign investors bought shares for 3.5 billion baht ($115.26 million) while retail investors sold shares for 3.7 billion baht ($121.85 million), the bourse said.
A resistance for the main index on Wednesday was seen at 1,164, with support at 1,148, brokers said.
"Big caps may face some profit taking after their strong gains yesterday," said Globlex Securities senior analyst Chakkrit Charoenmetachai.
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MARKET SUMMARY > Wall St snaps 4-day advance after Bernanke remarks > Oil ends Feb. higher on upbeat U.S. Fed report > Euro, Aussie hit by wave of profit taking post ECB > US bonds slip as Bernanke fails to signal stimulus > Spot gold rises 1 pct, claws back from 5-pct slide
STOCKS TO WATCH:
- Indorama Ventures Pcl
The company expected 2012 revenue to rise more than 30 percent to $8 billion, boosted by higher product prices and new output from recent acquisitions, Chief Executive Aloke Lohia told reporters.
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