Taiwan shares edge lower as tech stocks sluggish

2017/11/10 17:02:27 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed marginally lower Friday after bargain hunters stepped in to stop an early-session slide and pull the market's weighted index, the Taiex, back to nearly even by the end of trading, dealers said.

Reduced trading volume led to sluggish performances by the bellwether electronics sector, while select old economy stocks, in particular in the petrochemical and paper sectors, attracted more buying to support the broader market, they said.

The Taiex closed down 10.60 points, or 0.10 percent, at 10,732.67, after moving between 10,659.29 and 10,742.61, on turnover of NT$118.82 billion (US$3.94 billion).

The market opened down 0.27 percent and selling quickly escalated, mostly in high-tech heavyweights, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.43 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 0.58 percent overnight amid worries of a delay in U.S. tax reform, dealers said.

But after the Taiex edged below its nearest technical support level at around 10,700 points and hit the day's low 16 minutes into the session, bargain hunters turned active.

They picked up select tech heavyweights, in particular contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), and some old economy stocks, helping the broader market recoup most of its early losses by the end of the session, they said.

"It seems there has been strong technical support at around 10,700 points, as the market consolidated around that level for some time in October," equity analyst Vickie Hsieh said.

"That's why share prices did well to recover from a low, especially with market sentiment still cautious ahead of the release of October sales reports later today."

"Today's turnover fell from a session earlier, when the Taiex shed 0.7 percent, indicating selling pressure has been largely absorbed," Hsieh said. "The Taiex's ability to recoup most of its early losses indicated the market has to some extent turned stable."

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, was one of the stocks benefiting from bargain hunting. It closed only 0.21 percent lower at NT$240.50 after hitting a low of NT$239.50, with 14.10 million shares changing hands.

Among other falling tech stocks, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海) lost 0.92 percent to close at NT$107.50, off an early low of NT$106.00, and Largan Precision Co. (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., fell 0.26 percent to end at NT$5,740.00, off a low of NT$5,670.00.

Smartphone brand HTC Corp. (宏達電) shed 1.04 percent to close at NT$66.70 after the company reported a day earlier a net loss for the third quarter, the 10th consecutive quarter in which the brand posted a loss.

Bucking the broader downturn, PC brand Acer Inc. (宏碁) rose 10 percent, the most a stock can rise in a single day in Taiwan, to close at NT$17.45 after it reported a day earlier a third quarter net profit of NT$1.45 billion, the highest for Acer in seven quarters.

In the old economy sector, paper maker Pao Long International Co. (寶隆) rose 0.96 percent to end at NT$31.50, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (台塑化) added 0.95 percent to close at NT$106.00, and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. (台化) gained 0.21 percent to end at NT$93.40.

According to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$1.74 billion in shares in the market Friday.

(By Frances Huang)

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