Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher Monday, breaching the 10,800-point level as large-cap electronics and financial stocks served as the major drivers to the gains throughout the session, dealers said.
However, turnover remained moderate, as investors remained alert over trade tension between the United States and China, even though the two sides agreed to resume talks in October to resolve their dispute, while caution also resulted from fears over possible negative external leads during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), or Taiex, ended up 20.50 points, or 0.19 percent, at 10,801.14, after moving between 10,778.15 and 10,829.44, on turnover of NT$115.994 billion (US$3.715 billion).
The market opened up 0.26 percent to stand above the 10,800-point level on follow-through buying from a session earlier, when the Taiex closed up 0.22 percent, and buying continued to push up the main board to the day's high, with tech heavyweights such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) in focus, the dealers said.
It was the first time the local main board had closed above 10,800 points since July 31, when the Taiex ended at 10,823.81.
"With the Taiex ending above the 10,800-point level, the local main board has become technically healthier, paving the way for the index to challenge the nearest technical resistance level at 10,870 points, an intraday high since July 23," Dayu International Securities Investment Consultant analyst Chang Chih-cheng said.
"I think foreign institutional investors continued to stand on the buy side to lift the Taiex further," Chang said.
According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$4.28 billion-worth of shares Monday after a net buy of NT$9.26 billion a session earlier.
Chang said large-cap tech stocks such as TSMC remained an anchor to the main board's uptrend on the back of hopes that the peak-season effect will push up their shipments in the third quarter.
Among the gaining tech stocks, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 0.57 percent to close at NT$265.00, with 17.19 million shares changing hands.
"However, I am afraid that TSMC will face stiff technical resistance at around NT$267.00 after recent solid gains, which could affect the performance of the broader market," Chang said. TSMC is a processor provider for iPhone production.
Also among the Apple concept stocks, Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to the U.S. consumer electronics gaint, gained 0.25 percent to close at NT$3,990.00, while iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, fell 0.40 percent to end at NT$74.70 and Catcher Technology Co., a metal casing maker for Apple, shed 1.09 percent to close at NT$227.00.
"The mixed performances among these Apple suppliers showed that many investors preferred to remain cautious ahead of the debut of the next- generation iPhones later in the month," Chang said. "They want to see the real sales numbers."
Chang said the financial sector acted as another pillar to the main board's upturn, up 1.09 percent.
In the financial sector, Mega Financial Holding Co. rose 1.39 percent to close at NT$29.20, Fubon Financial Holding Co. added 1.25 percent to end at NT$44.55 and Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained 0.37 percent to close at NT$40.95.
Among the mixed old economy stocks, food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. rose 0.91 percent to close at NT$77.80, while Formosa Plastics Corp. stayed unchanged at NT$95.30 and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. fell 0.90 percent to end at NT$88.40.
"While the index breached 10,800 points, the gains were capped, as turnover remained moderate because many investors still appeared wary of the upcoming trade talks between Washington and Beijing," Chang said. "Before both sides sign an agreement, uncertainty is expected to continue to affect market sentiment."
"Moreover, the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend from Friday to Sunday also prevented many investors from trading for the moment, as they fear that global financial markets will suffer volatility during the period," Chang said.