Taiwan shares end up but gains capped

02/14/2020 07:58 PM
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Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan extended their momentum Friday from the previous session to close higher, but the upturn was capped ahead of the nearest technical resistance at around 11,900 points, amid lingering concerns over the novel coronavirus epidemic, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector continued to lead the broader market higher, with a focus on select electronics component stocks such as multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) manufacturers and printed circuit board (PCB) makers, while large tech stocks came off an early high by the end of the session, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) closed up 23.92 points, or 0.20 percent, at 11,815.70, after moving between 11,788.87 and 11,840.79. Turnover totaled NT$111.67 billion (US$3.72 billion) during the session.

The market opened up 0.13 percent, as investors ignored the losses on the U.S. markets, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43 percent and the S&P 500 index lost 0.16 percent overnight, dealers said.

As buying on the local main board accelerated, the Taiex edged past the 11,800-point mark, reaching close to 11,900 at one point, they said. Driven by ample liquidity, the uptrend on the Taiex continued until profit taking emerged, which offset the gains to some extent by the end of the session, dealers said.

"It remained a liquidity driven upturn in the local equity market, so investors continued to park their money in the mainstream electronics sector," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

While market sentiment remains bothered by the spread of the coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, investors in the region are hoping that China will come up with stimulus measures to keep its economy on track, he said, noting gains in other major regional markets such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Seoul.

On the Taiex, although the gains of some tech heavyweights such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) petered out, interest in certain electronics component stocks remained solid, helping the tech sector to steam ahead, he said.

Among the gaining stocks in the passive electronics components sector, Yageo Corp. rose 4.10 percent to close at NT$457.00 and Walsin Technology Corp. added 2.76 percent to end at NT$242.00.

Other gaining PCB stocks included Flexium Interconnect Inc., which rose 1.23 percent to close at NT$123.50, and Apex International Co. which climbed by the maximum daily 10 percent to end at NT$60.30.

Among them the large tech stocks that failed to sustain their earlier gains., TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, closed unchanged at NT$335.00 after hitting a high of NT$337.00.

Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., also ended unchanged at NT$4,820.00 off a high of NT$4,875.00.

In line with the broader market, however, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second only to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, rose 0.24 percent to close at NT$84.90.

Huang said old economy and financial stocks appeared mixed as the local main board faced stiff technical resistance ahead of 11,900 points. "There were some high technical hurdles ahead of 11,933 points -- an intraday high on Jan. 30 -- so many investors were reluctant to chase prices for the moment, which limited turnover," he said.

Among the mixed old economy stocks, Formosa Plastics Corp. rose 0.42 percent to close at NT$95.20, while Nan Ya Plastics Corp. ended unchanged at NT$70.40, and food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. lost 0.40 percent to close at NT$74.20.

In the financial sector, which closed up 0.08 percent, CTBC Financial Holding Co. ended unchanged at NT$22.80, while Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 0.12 percent to close at NT$41,65, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. added 0.22 percent to finish at NT$46.15.

"The Wuhan virus epidemic is likely to create volatility on the global equity markets down the road," Huang said. "On the Taiex, however, there could be strong technical support at around the 10-day moving average of 11,646 points."

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$1.69 billion worth of shares on the main board Friday.

(By Frances Huang)

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