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Taiex soared over 160 percent during Tsai's 8 years in power

05/17/2024 10:06 PM
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CNA photo April 17, 2024
CNA photo April 17, 2024

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Friday was the last trading session of the local stock market during President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) eight years in office, during which time the benchmark weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) surged more than 160 percent.

The Taiex fell 45.79 points, or 0.21 percent to close at 21,258.47 on Friday, days before President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is sworn in on May 20.

Since May 19, 2016, when the Taiex ended at 8,095.98 before Tsai took office as the president, the local main board has soared 13,162.49 points, or about 162 percent.

After Tsai's inauguration, the Taiex remained below 10,000 points until May 11, 2017, when the index closed above the 10,000 point mark for the first time in 17 years.

The main board then ended around 10,000 in the following sessions before it closed above that level at 10,007.84 on May 23, 2017 and the 10,000 point mark became a regular occurrence until Oct. 11, 2018, when the Taiex fell to 9,806.11.

Since then the index had fluctuated around 10,000 points until April 8, 2020, when the main board closed above that level and remained strong.

In 2021, the market benefited from solid gains posted by shipping stocks in the wake of a container cargo capacity shortage amid COVID-19. Starting in 2023, the momentum on the main board accelerated due to growing enthusiasm over artificial intelligence development.

On March 21, 2024, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rode the wave of AI frenzy, along with the strength of electric machinery stocks and memory chip stocks, leading the broader market to close above 20,000 points for the first time at 20,199.09.

Since then, the Taiex has ended above the 20,000 point mark and hit a new closing high four sessions in a row from May 13-16 before a mild pullback Friday.

Market analysts said foreign institutional investors played a key role this week registering NT$114.22 billion (US$3.55 billion) as inflation on U.S. markets showed signs of moderating, which raised hopes of a rate cut cycle by the Federal Reserve.

Despite a slight fall on the Taiex on Friday, foreign institutional investors still bought a net NT$1.34 billion worth of shares on the main board, and registered net purchases of 19.70 million shares in United Microelectronics Corp., a smaller contract chipmaker, the largest net buy among the listed companies.

Speaking with CNA, Cathay Futures Consultant analyst Tsai Ming-han (蔡明翰) said the solid gains enjoyed by the Taiex since the beginning of this year largely reflects sound fundamentals as net profits on the main board and the over-the-counter market rose more than 30 percent on average in the first quarter.

In addition, sales generated by these listed companies rose about 20 percent on average in April, giving additional support to the stock market, Tsai said.

(By Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang)

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