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Taiwan shares end above 10,800 points, but gains capped

2017/11/22 17:18:01

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed above the 10,800-point mark Wednesday, driven by sustained gains in the financial sector, but the upturn was limited to some extent as investors later in the session moved to lock in their profits, dealers said.

Turnover expanded to the highest level in six years as investors rushed to pick up large cap stocks in the electronics and non-high tech sectors during the session, but market sentiment remained haunted by uncertainty over a tax reform bill in the United States, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 43.35 points, or 0.40 percent, at 10,822.59, after moving between 10,801.10 and 10,882.65. Turnover totaled NT$178.60 billion (US$5.95 billion) during the session.

The market opened up 0.34 percent, breaching 10,800 points as investors were encouraged to buy into local equities after the S&P 500 index on Wall Street closed at a new high Tuesday, dealers said.

With the financial sector leading the upturn, the buying spread to the electronics sector, in particular some semiconductor stocks and "Apple concept stocks," dealers said.

However, some investors shifted to the sell side in the latter part of the session, which limited the gains, but the weighted index finished above 10,800 points at the highest level in 27 years, dealers said.

Continued buying in financial heavyweights drove turnover to the highest level since Aug. 11, 2011, when the trading volume reached NT$179.52 billion, Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said.

"It was pity that the main board failed to fully maintain its early momentum," Su said. "I expect large cap stocks, which have been making a strong showing in recent sessions, will need some time to consolidate before taking another big leap."

After gaining 2.75 percent Tuesday, the financial sector closed up 0.89 percent at 1,188.41 points Wednesday, off an early high of 1,198.61.

Among the gaining financial stocks, CTBC Financial Holding Co. (中信金) rose 2.78 percent to close at NT$20.30, off an early high of NT$20.40, and E. Sun Financial Holding Co. (玉山金) added 1.07 percent to end at NT$18.85, off an early high of NT$18.95.

After hitting an early high of NT$52.10, Fubon Financial Holding Co. (富邦金) rose 0.99 percent to end at NT$50.80.

Su said the gains by U.S. integrated circuit stocks led investors to pick up Taiwanese IC shares, including IC packaging and testing service provider Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (日月光), which rose 1.48 percent to close at NT$37.80 and dynamic random access memory chip maker Nanya Technology Corp. (南亞科), which finished 2.38 percent higher at NT$86.00.

However, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) , supplier of the A11 processor for the new iPhones, fell 0.41 percent to close at NT$242.00, while iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海) ended unchanged at NT$104.00.

Other suppliers to Apple attracted early buying, with metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. (可成) ending up 4.05 percent at NT$346.50, and smartphone camera lens producer Largan Precision Co. (大立光) rising 0.73 percent to end at NT$5,555.00.

"Investors remained cautious about the tax reform bill in the U.S.," Su said. "There is worry that the bill will not clear the U.S. Senate by the Christmas holidays, as expected, which will affect Wall Street and the global markets."

(By Frances Huang)
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