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Taiwan shares end higher as TSMC continues rebound

2017/12/04 17:45:10

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher on Monday as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. continued a technical rebound from a recent slump to push up the broader market, dealers said.

Non-high tech stocks, in particular in the financial and petrochemical sectors, on the back of bargain hunting pushed the local main board up further by the end of the session to pass the 60-day moving average at about 10,644 points, they said.

The reduced turnover indicated many investors remain cautious and reluctant to chase prices for the moment, watching closely for when the U.S. Senate and House reach a deal on a tax overhaul after the Senate passed its own version of the tax bill over the weekend, they added.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 50.74 points, or 0.48 percent, at 10,651.11, after moving between 10,565.68 and 10,665.43, on turnover of NT$128.095 billion (US$4.27 billion).

The market opened up 0.16 percent and remained around the previous closing level in the early morning session but buying accelerated as investors picked up more TSMC shares, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, to lift the broader market well above Friday's ending level, dealers said.

Select financial and petrochemical stocks also steamed ahead after lagging behind the electronics sector for some time, which gave an additional boost to the weighted index by the end of the session, they said.

The latest upturn reflected gains posted by futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the U.S. Senate approved its own version of a tax reform bill, they added.

"After a recent plunge, the local main board continued its momentum from the earlier session as TSMC kept bouncing back," Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy Hsu said, "Today's gains helped the weighted index jump over technical resistance at around the 60-day moving average, paving the path of a further rebound."

Last week, the main board closed down 2.34 percent on heavy foreign institutional selling. On Monday, TSMC gained 1.30 percent to close at NT$234.00, off an early low of NT$231.00 with 21.60 million shares changing hands. Led by TSMC, the bellwether electronics sector ended up 0.24 percent and the semiconductor sub-index closed up 0.92 percent.

Hsu said TSMC's gains offset the downturn suffered by other large cap high tech stocks. Among them, Largan Precision Co., a smartphone lens maker for iPhone production, shed 4.19 percent to close at NT$4,800.00, the first time the stock has fallen below NT$5,000.00 since July 7, when its closing price stood at NT$4,960.00.

Shares in Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., an iPhone and iPad assembler, ended down 0.10 percent at NT$99.00, and PC brand Asustek Computer Inc. fell 0.37 percent to close at NT$269.00.

In the financial sector, which closed up 0.91 percent, Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 1.29 percent to close at NT$55.00, and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank gained 1.22 percent to end at NT$16.55.

Elsewhere, shares in Nan Ya Plastics Corp. added 0.80 percent to close at NT$75.60 and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. gained 0.74 percent to end at NT$74.95 after major oil producers reached a consensus to extend the current production cut agreement.

"Despite the gains in the index, turnover shrank, indicating many investors preferred to stay on the sidelines, watching whether the U.S. Congress will strike a deal on tax reform before the Christmas holiday," Hsu said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$1.43 billion worth of shares on the main board Monday.

(By Frances Huang)