The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative ahead of the FOMC's rate decision later today. The European and U.S. markets finished firmly in the red and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.
The SET finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and a mixed performance from the energy producers.
For the day, the index rose 7.02 points or 0.43 percent to finish at 1,638.59 after trading between 1,636.20 and 1,645.15. Volume was 18.336 billion shares worth 65.130 billion baht. There were 863 gainers and 731 decliners, with 612 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Thailand Airport rose 0.34 percent, while Asset World dropped 0.84 percent, Banpu advanced 0.75 percent, Bangkok Bank collected 0.37 percent, BTS Group shed 0.57 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods sank 0.99 percent, Energy Absolute surged 3.41 percent, Gulf retreated 1.38 percent, Kasikornbank added 0.67 percent, Krung Thai Card gathered 0.42 percent, PTT perked 0.68 percent, PTT Exploration and Production gained 0.89 percent, PTT Global Chemical lost 0.56 percent, SCG Packaging increased 0.45 percent, Siam Commercial Bank jumped 1.42 percent, Thai Oil climbed 0.92 percent, True Corporation improved 0.41 percent, Thai Union Group skyrocketed 4.79 percent and TTB Bank, Advanced Info, Bangkok Dusit Medical, Bangkok Expressway, B. Grimm, CP All Public, IRPC Krung Thai Bank, PTT Oil & Retail and Siam Concrete were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened in the red on Tuesday and held their negative bias throughout the session.
The Dow plunged 313.45 points or 1.01 percent to finish at 30,706.23, while the NASDAQ sank 109.97 points or 0.95 percent to end at 11,425.05 and the S&P 500 tumbled 43.96 points or 1.13 percent to close at 3,855.93.
The weakness on Wall Street came as traders were jittery ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later today. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points, although some see an outside chance for a 100-point rate hike.
Treasury yields saw further upside ahead of the Fed announcement, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note jumping to a new 11-year high.
In economic news, the Commerce Department reported an unexpected spike in new residential construction in the U.S. in August, although the report also showed a steeper than expected slump in building permits.
Crude oil prices fell sharply on Tuesday amid concerns about interest rate hikes and worries about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for October ended lower by $1.28 or 1.5 percent at $84.45 a barrel on expiration day.