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Local bourse retreats; HTC shares fall despite new model launch

2012/09/20 14:50:38

Taipei, Sept. 20 (CNA) The local bourse pulled back on profit taking Thursday as investors locked in profits they had built on further liquidity-easing measures in the U.S., dealers said.

Among the losing stocks, smartphone vendor HTC Corp. failed to attract buying, even though the company unveiled overnight in New York its first models running on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, they said.

However, the transport sector continued its momentum after the government announced earlier this week the launch of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project, which is aimed at developing the area surrounding Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, they added.

The weighted index closed down 54.36 points, or 0.69 percent, at 7,727.55, after moving between 7,704.61 and 7,785.47, on turnover of NT$80.34 billion (US$2.74 billion).

The market opened down 0.10 points as investors took cues from a lackluster performance on Wall Street overnight, and fell further amid lingering concerns over the global economy, the dealers said.

However, riding the wave of ample liquidity, the market seemed to gain some technical support by the end of the session after the index moved closer to the 7,700 point mark, they said.

"Looking at the declines posted by electronics heavyweights, many investors remained worried about falling global demand for high tech devices amid the current economic slowdown," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

"A rising Taiwan dollar has also raised concerns that Taiwan's high tech exports will be hurt further," Huang said.

In the electronics sector, Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest contract electronics maker, fell 0.93 percent to close at NT$96.00, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip supplier, lost 0.81 percent to end at NT$85.30.

HTC closed down 1.45 percent at NT$306.00. Huang said the company's new products failed to impress investors after the devices drew mixed reaction from market analysts.

Before the close, HSBC reported a preliminary reading that China's manufacturing activity remained slow, prompting investors to dump so-called "China concept" stocks -- those that have close business ties with China, Huang said.

Among the China concept stocks, Taiwan Cement fell 1.95 percent to close at NT$35.25, while textile maker Far Eastern New Century lost 2.06 percent to end at NT$33.25.

"However, the silver lining of today's trading was the reduced turnover, indicating that selling pressure was not intolerably heavy," Huang said. "I suspect that many investors still have hopes about liquidity-driven gains in the near future."

At the end of the session, the cement sector had suffered the steepest decline among the eight major market sectors, finishing down 1.1 percent. Textiles, along with plastics and chemical stocks, fell 0.9 percent, and the machinery and electronics sector closed down 0.8 percent.

Foodstuffs and financials lost 0.7 percent, paper and pulp stocks fell 0.5 percent, and the construction sector closed down 0.4 percent.

(By Frances Huang)