Taiwan shares edge lower but stay above 10,000 points

2017/05/17 16:54:38 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan edged lower Wednesday as major large-cap electronics stocks lost ground, but the weighted index remained above the 10,000-point mark at the close for the third consecutive session, dealers said.

The Taiwan stock exchange's main index, the Taiex, closed down 17.82 points, or 0.18 percent, at 10,013.67 after moving between 9,967.97 and 10,029.62 on turnover of NT$82.766 billion (US$2.75 billion).

The market opened down 11.87 points and slid steadily until hitting the day's low shortly before noon, reflecting weaker investor sentiment after MSCI Inc. cut Taiwan's weighting in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index early Tuesday morning Taiwan time.

After the index fell below 10,000 points, however, buying interest emerged, especially in the non-high-tech sector, to vault the index back above that level by the end of the session, dealers said.

Among the major stock categories, the financial, plastics and chemicals and construction sectors performed relatively well, while the other sectors lost ground.

In the bellwether electronics sector, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,台積電), the world's largest contract chip maker and the most heavily weighted stock on the exchange, fell 0.24 percent to close at NT$204.00.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海), the world's largest contract electronics maker, lost 0.48 percent to close at NT$103.00, and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (大立光) slid 1.03 percent to end at NT$4,820.00.

Shawn Hsueh (薛舜日), an analyst with Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co., said the Taiex recently broke above the 10,000-point mark despite the heavy foreign exchange losses suffered by listed companies in the first quarter and the arrival of tax season this month.

Foreign institutional investors have been the main drivers behind the market's recent gains, moving funds in to take advantage of Taiwanese companies' high dividend yields and the relative stability of the Taiwan dollar against foreign currencies, Hsueh said.

Once the dividends season ends in July, however, the market will have a hard time staying above the 10,000-point level, Hsueh said.

Foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$1.00 billion in shares on the stock market on Wednesday.

(By Pan Chi-i and Evelyn Kao)

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