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Taiwan shares close up in late session buying

2017/10/13 16:27:11

Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed marginally higher Friday as buying emerged late in the trading session, helping the market recoup early losses to remain above the 10,700-point mark, dealers said.

Underperforming the broader market, Largan Precision Co. (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., came under pressure throughout the session because of uncertainty over its sales for November, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 12.65 points, or 0.12 percent, at the day's high of 10,724.09, after hitting a low of 10,675.83, on turnover of NT$121.11 billion (US$4.01 billion).

The market opened up 1.04 points on follow-through buying from a session earlier but soon lost its footing as selling emerged in the bellwether electronics sector, in particular select "Apple concept stocks," including Largan, dealers said.

In Friday trading, investors shifted to the buy side, picking up certain high-tech bargains, including contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海), to help the weighted index close higher at the end, they said.

"The electronics sector retained a dominant role in the local stock market after making up about 70 percent of the total turnover Friday," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

"During most of the session, when high-tech stocks generally remained in the doldrums, the broader market appeared weak," Huang said. "But buying late in the trading session served as a boost to the market as a whole."

Among the electronics stocks that left early losses behind, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, closed unchanged at the day's high of NT$237.50, after hitting an early low of NT$234.50, with 23.10 million shares changing hands.

Off an early low of NT$107.00, Hon Hai, second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, ended at NT$108.00 on trading volume of 25.86 million shares.

"Largan's losses affected market sentiment toward some other Apple suppliers during most the trading session," Huang said.

"Those stocks were hit by worries that shipments of Apple's premier iPhone X model will be delayed after Largan said on Thursday it remains unclear about its sales outlook for November," Huang said.

Largan fell 1.51 percent to close at NT$5,550.00, although the company reported third quarter net profit that was up 60 percent from a quarter earlier and a gross margin that was up 1.2 percentage points sequentially.

Catcher Technology Co. (可成), a metal casing supplier to Apple, also lost 2.50 percent to end at NT$312.50.

In the petrochemical sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. (台塑) lost 1.16 percent to close at NT$93.50, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (南亞) fell 1.07 percent to end at NT$74.20 after a fall in international crude oil prices.

Among the financial stocks, Cathay Financial Holding Co. (國泰金) rose 0.31 percent to close at NT$49.15, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. (富邦金) gained 0.42 percent to end at NT$47.65.

"After the weighted index breached the 10,700-point mark, the market has become technically stronger. So the market is expected to consolidate for a while before moving even higher the rest of the year," Huang said.

But, Huang said, investors should keep a close eye on the ongoing earnings season on Wall Street, which could move other markets in the world.

(By Frances Huang)