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Taiwan shares end flat after suffering early losses

2018/11/12 18:05:02

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed little changed Monday after bargain hunters moved in midway through the session to prop up falling prices, dealers said.

Turnover remained thin, however, as market sentiment remained clouded by concerns of further volatility in global equity markets at a time of continued trade tensions between the United States and China, they said.

Also, the uncertainties of Taiwan's local government elections on Nov. 24 kept many investors from chasing prices even though the market rebounded from early lows during the session, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, ended up 1.20 points, or 0.01 percent, at 9,831.21, after moving between 9,764.46 and 9,875.84, on turnover of NT$90.41 billion (US$2.94 billion).

The market opened down 0.24 percent on follow-through buying from Friday, when the Taiex plunged 1.16 percent, and selling escalated as investors reacted to a 0.77 percent fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1.65 percent fall in the Nasdaq on Nov. 9, dealers said.

Once the Taiex fell below the 9,800-point mark, however, some investors shifted to the buy side, helping the index return to above 9,800 points by the close, dealers said.

"It seemed there was some technical support at the 20-day moving average of around 9,809 points," Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said. "That's why bargain hunters were willing to take action, helping the market mitigate the impact of the market losses in the U.S."

Su said contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, was one of the large cap stocks that closed higher on bargain hunting, stabilizing the broader market.

TSMC rose 0.22 percent to close at NT$231.50 after hitting a low of NT$230.00, with NT$23.23 million shares changing hands.

Also in the bellwether sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. gained 0.13 percent to close at NT$76.20, off an early low of NT$75.80.

Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc. fell 0.97 percent to end at NT$3,050.00, but recovered from a low of NT$3,020.00.

Bucking the upturn on the broader market, PC brands Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc. moved lower by 4.93 percent and 0.65 percent, respectively, to close at NT$20.25 and NT$228.00 after the two reported disappointing sales for October.

Su said bargain hunters also picked up stocks in the old economy sector with Taiwan Cement Corp. up 2.01 percent to close at NT$35.60, textile firm Far Eastern New Century Corp. up 1.78 percent to end at NT$31.50, and food brand Uni-President Corp. up 0.42 percent to end at NT$72.40.

"The Washington-Beijing trade disputes remained a problem for many investors," Su said. "While U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G-20 summit later this month, few can be sure if the issue will be resolved anytime soon.

"Many investors are now only willing to buy for short-term plays before the upcoming elections, so it was understandable trading volume was thin today," Su said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$1.06 billion in shares on the main board Monday.

(By Frances Huang)