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Taiwan shares end above 11,000 points amid late session buying

2019/04/23 17:46:31

CNA file photo

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved moderately higher to close above the 11,000 point mark as select large cap stocks in the electronics and non-high tech sectors posted gains on the back of late trading, dealers said.

Turnover remained thin, with many investors still staying on the sidelines, indicating their willingness to chase prices is limited during the earnings season at home and in the U.S. markets, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) or the Taiex ended up 37.97 points, or 0.35 percent, at the day's high of 11,025.68, after moving to a low of 10,949.30, on turnover of NT$110.97 billion (US$3.60 billion).

The market opened up 6.75 points and continued to trade in a narrow range for most of the session in the wake of a lackluster performance on U.S. markets, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.18 percent and the S&P 500 index closed up 0.10 percent, dealers said.

However, buying accelerated in the late session, as investors picked up more large cap stocks, such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. as well as Formosa Plastics Corp., pushing the Taiex above the 11,000 point mark by the end of the session, they said.

"Although the main board breached 11,000 points at today's close, turnover failed to expand accordingly, indicating many investors were reluctant to chase prices for the moment," Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said.

"Investors here are still watching closely the on-going local earnings season and on Wall Street," Su said. "In particular, some U.S. tech giants such as Facebook and Apple will soon report their earnings, which could move the high tech sectors in the U.S. and Taiwan."

Su said the bellwether electronics sector still served as a driver for the upturn of the main board throughout the session, with buying focused on TSMC and other large cap stocks.

TSMC rose 0.75 percent to close at NT$268.00 with 25.28 million shares changing hands. TSMC's gains pushed up the Taiex by about 20 points and the electronics sub-index by 0.38 percent.

Also in the high tech sector, Largan, a supplier to Apple Inc., added 1.31 percent to close at NT$4,630.00. The company has proposed issuing a NT$68 cash dividend per share for its 2018 earnings with a payout ratio of 37.43 percent.

iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. staged a technical rebound to gain 0.57 percent and close at NT$88.30, and shares in integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. rose 0.35 percent to end at NT$290.00.

"Late buying also spread to non-tech stocks, in both the old economy and financial sectors," Su said. "Petrochemical stocks simply benefited from an increase in international crude oil prices."

In the petrochemical sector, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. gained 1.32 percent to close at NT$115.50, and Formosa Plastics Corp. added 0.92 percent to end at NT$109.50.

Elsewhere, shares in Taiwan Cement Corp. rose 1.46 percent to close at NT$41.60, and Eclat Textile Co. gained 3.25 percent to end at NT$432.50.

In the financial sector, which rose 0.25 percent, Mega Financial Holding Co. gained 0.71 percent to close at NT$28.20, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 0.22 percent to end at NT$45.35, while Cathay Financial Holding Co. closed unchanged at NT$44.35.

"The attitude of foreign institutions will be critical when it comes to whether the Taiex will stay well above 11,000 points," Su said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$3.38 billion worth of shares on the main board Tuesday.

(By Pan Chih-yi and Frances Huang)
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