Taiwan shares end higher as TSMC bounces back
Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan climbed out of a slump to close higher Friday, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which recovered from its tumble in the previous session, dealers said.
TSMC helped boost the bellwether electronics sector, and the gains also spread to the old economy and financial sectors, lending additional support to the main board, but turnover remained low amid fears of further volatility on the United States markets, dealers said.
The Taiex, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), closed up 124.53 points, or 0.78 percent, at 16,144.85, after moving between 16,058.20 and 16,181.66. Turnover totaled NT$197.899 billion (US$6.67 billion).
The market opened up 0.26 percent, ignoring the losses on the U.S. markets overnight, and it gained momentum, as TSMC attracted bargain hunting after plunging 2.97 percent Thursday, dealers said.
The bargain hunting also spread to non-tech stocks, including the steel and financial sectors, helping the main board end above 16,100 points, after its 1.70 percent tumble the previous day, dealers said.
"While U.S. markets continued to trend lower, the selling was more on the Dow than the tech-heavy Nasdaq index," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said. "Investors here simply took advantage of the heavy losses suffered by electronics stocks yesterday to pick up bargains today."
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.75 percent, while the Nasdaq index finished 0.26 percent lower.
"In Taiwan, TSMC became the major target among bargain hunters, as its share price was relatively low, while its fundamentals remained sound," Huang said.
TSMC, which had plunged about 15 percent this year due to U.S. interest rate hikes, rose 1.53 percent Friday to close at NT$530.00. The stock contributed almost 70 points to the Taiex gains and led the electronics sector and the semiconductor sub-index to rise 0.72 percent and 1.09 percent, respectively.
Other semiconductor heavyweights, however, finished mixed, with chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. losing 0.20 percent to end at NT$50.70, and application-specific IC designer Faraday Technology Corp. dropping 1.25 percent to close at NT$950.00, while IC packaging and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co. gained 1.88 percent to end at NT$97.50.
In the wider electronics sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 0.47 percent to close at NT$107.00, and PC brand Acer Inc. shed 1.42 percent to end at NT$27.75, after Acer Chairman Jason Chen (陳俊聖) was cited in the local media as saying that he was afraid PC demand would be affected by the lockdowns in China and inflation worldwide.
Meanwhile, the broader market benefited from rotational buying, with select old economy stocks in focus, Huang said, referring to the steel sector, which rose 1.45 percent.
Steel, transportation sectors
Taiwan's largest steel company China Steel Corp. rose 1.21 percent to close at NT$33.35, Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp. gained 2.17 percent to end at NT$61.10, Chung Hung Steel Corp. climbed 3.76 percent to finish at NT$33.10, and China Steel Structure Corp. soared 5.09 percent to end at NT$57.80.
Elsewhere in the old economy sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. gained 1.46 percent to close at NT$104.50, and Taita Chemical Co. gained 1.24 percent to end at NT$28.65.
Evergreen Marine Corp., the largest Taiwanese container cargo shipper, lost 0.74 percent to close at NT$135.00, while rival Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. finished 2.17 percent higher at NT$117.50.
In the financial sector, which rose 0.86 percent, Hua Nan Financial Holding Co, climbed 1.34 percent to close at NT$22.70, and Mega Financial Holding Co. gained 1.37 percent to end at NT$37.10.
Fubon Financial Holding Co. finished up 0.32 percent at NT$61.80, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. ended 0.38 percent higher at NT$52.90.
"Despite the Taiex's gains today, the session was quiet, as turnover remained low," Huang said. "Many investors are still reluctant to chase prices, as they are worried about further volatility on the U.S. markets, amid the Federal Reserve's policy tightening, which is expected to drain market liquidity."
According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$7.19 billion worth of shares on the main board Friday.
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