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Taiwan stocks dip as Turkish currency crisis rocks world markets

2018/08/16 17:10:03

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved 0.31 percent lower Thursday as investors grew more concerned over possible further volatility in global markets after the dramatic fall in the Turkish lira over the last few days drove down U.S. and European stocks.

The weighted index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, or the Taiex, closed down 32.85 points, or 0.31 percent, at 10,683.90, after ranging between a high of 10,725.71 and a low of 10,606.26. Turnover totaled NT$138.93 billion (US$4.5 billion).

The market opened down 53.18 points at 10,663.57 and at one point lost more than 100 points. It then recouped some of those losses to briefly move above 10,700 points, mainly driven by a 3.14 percent gain in the shares of Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., which went ex-right Thursday and closed at NT$4,520.00.

Among other bellwether electronics stocks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, lost 1.04 percent to close at NT$239.00, while shares in iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market value, rose 0.12 percent to close at NT$81.20.

The performance of passive electronics stocks remained relatively strong, with Yageo Corp. surging 8 percent to close at NT$663.00 and rival Walsin Technology Corp. rising 9.98 percent to end at NT$270.00. while Holy Stone Enterprise Ltd. Co. gained 4 percent to finish the day at NT$176.50.

Gourmet Master Co. stocks took a beating Thursday after its subsidiary 85℃ Bakery Cafe chain became the latest business to bow to pressure from Beijing and issue a statement supporting the "1992 Consensus." The statement came after Chinese netizens threatened a boycott over a visit to one of its stores in the United States by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) earlier this week. The company's shares fell 7.5 percent to end at NT$253.00.

An analyst at Cathay Securities Co. said that as Turkey's economic crisis escalates, hammering emerging market currencies around the world and driving investors into safe haven assets such as the U.S. dollar, the bearish outlook for the local stock market could continue.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$309 million worth of shares on the main board Thursday.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Evelyn Kao)