TAIEX up over 100 points in morning session; TSMC soars

2017/10/11 11:47:57 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
TAIEX up over 100 points in morning session; TSMC soars

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan rose more than 100 points Wednesday morning on gains in markets in the United States, leading foreign institutional investors to pick up stocks here soon after the market opened, dealers said.

Large-cap stocks led the upturn, with contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) attracting aggressive buying to push its market capitalization to a new high.

That reflected the strong showing of U.S. semiconductor shares on Monday and Tuesday, when Taiwan's markets were closed for a public holiday, they said.

As of 10:48 a.m., the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange had gained 102.85 points, or 0.98 percent, to 10,635.66 on turnover of NT$79.75 billion (US$2.63 billion).

The electronics sector was up 1.33 percent and the semiconductor sub-index was up 2.44 percent.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, was up 2.90 percent at NT$231.00, with 29.49 million shares changing hands, off an early high of NT$233.00, which at the time boosted the market cap of the stock to a record high of NT$6.04 trillion.

"TSMC simply followed the rise of its U.S. counterparts in the first two sessions of this week, when the market was closed, to move higher," MasterLink Securities analyst Tom Tang said.

"I think foreign institutional investors are returning to the local trading floor after the National Day holiday, chasing stocks like TSMC."

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index closed up 0.61 percent at a 17-year-high overnight, led by stocks such as memory chip maker Micron Technology Corp.

Dealers said TSMC was also boosted by its third quarter sales, which were up 17.89 percent from the previous quarter, beating the company's earlier estimate of a 16 percent increase because of orders placed by Apple Inc.

"As long as foreign institutional investors continue to buy into TSMC, the stock could rise more without any stiff short-term technical resistance," Tang said.

Among other gaining high-tech stocks, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海) had risen 1.88 percent to NT$108.50, and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發) had added 2.06 percent to NT$297.00 as of 10:48 a.m.

"Due to the solid gains posted by TSMC, the local weighted index breached the 10,600-point mark," Tang said. "More importantly, buying also spread to non-high-tech stocks to help the broader market maintain its strength."

In the old economy sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. (台塑) had gained 1.85 percent to NT$93.70 and food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (統一) had added 2.36 percent to NT$65.10 as of 10:48 a.m.

"Stocks including Hon Hai and Formosa Plastics and Uni-President could continue to benefit from their recent consolidation to lead more bargain hunters to buy into them," Tang said.

(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)

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