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Thailand Stocks: Banpu, G Steel, Thai Union Frozen, Thai Air

Thailand's SET Index fell 0.26, or 0.1 percent, to 457.36 at the close, snapping a four-day, 19 percent climb. Three shares dropped for every two that gained.

Banpu Pcl (BANPU TB), the country's biggest coal producer, rose 8 baht, or 4 percent, to 206, completing a five-day, 46 percent rally. Crude oil for December delivery yesterday rose 10 percent to $70.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day gain since Sept. 22. Higher oil prices increases demand for alternative fuels such as coal.

G Steel Pcl (GSTEEL TB), the nation's second-biggest maker of hot-rolled steel, slid 0.07 baht, or 15 percent, to 0.40, the most since Oct. 29. ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, will slash production after prices tumbled as an economic slowdown erodes demand from builders and carmakers. Output of flat carbon steel will fall by as much as 35 percent in the U.S. and as much as 30 percent in Europe, ArcelorMittal said today.

Khon Kaen Sugar Pcl Industry Pcl (KSL TB), the nation's only publicly traded sugar miller, dropped 0.25 baht, or 4.2 percent, to 5.70, snapping a two-day, 18 percent rise. Khon Kaen and other millers in Thailand, the world's second-biggest sugar exporter, may meet a record production target of 8 million tons of the sweetener next year as mills prepare to begin crushing cane later this month, Thikha Khunnawat, director general of Thai Sugar Millers Corp., said in a phone interview today.

Thai Union Frozen Products Pcl (TUF TB), the world's No. 2 tuna canner, climbed 0.90 baht, or 5.3 percent, to 18, the most since Sept. 3. The company's profit probably surged 79 percent to 756 million baht in the third quarter as tuna sales rose and costs of energy and raw materials dropped, Pongpan Apinyakul, an investment strategist at Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) Pcl, wrote in a note today. Pongpan has a ``trading buy'' rating on the stock.

Thai Airways International Pcl (THAI TB), the state-controlled carrier, declined 0.40 baht, or 4.5 percent, to 8.55, halting a two-day, 13 percent advance. The company had its rating downgraded to ``underperform'' from ``outperform'' by Tim Bacchus and Trachoo Pintusan, analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd., who cited the view that ongoing domestic political unrest and recession in the nation's tourism markets will hurt earnings.

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