Taiwan shares end above 11,000 points

2018/03/12 18:05:56 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan shares end above 11,000 points

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed sharply higher above the 11,000-point mark Monday on the back of a rally on Wall Street at the end of last week in reflection of job data from Washington, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector led the upturn, with tech heavyweights in focus after the tech-heavy NASDAQ index hit a record high, while buying in the financial sector also appeared solid, boosted by improved profitability, the dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 137.28 points, or 1.26 percent, at 11,002.10, after moving between 10,908,99 and 11,016.56, on turnover of NT$139.84 billion (US$4.77 billion).

The market opened up 0.41 percent in a knee-jerk reaction to a rise on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1.77 percent, returning to the 25,000-point mark Friday.

The significant gains posted by the Dow Jones after the U.S. non-farm payroll reports show 313,000 new jobs in February, higher than the forecast of 200,000, but the U.S. wage growth slowed to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January, which prompted investors to think it unlikely that the Federal Reserve will speed up its pace of raising interest rates this year.

On the local main board, market sentiment improved with the Dow's solid gains, and buying in the bellwether electronics appeared strong, since the NASDAQ index rose 1.79 percent to a record high Friday, the dealers said.

"Wall Street continued to dictate the local equity market, so strong buying helped the Taiex past the critical 11,000-point mark at the end of the session after jumping over the nearest technical resistance level of 10,937, the highest intraday high since Feb. 27," Xincheng International Investment Consultant analyst Chang Chih-cheng said.

It was the first time the local main board had closed above the 11,000-point level since Feb. 2, when the weighted index ended at 11,126.23.

Led by U.S. high-tech stocks, the local electronics sector closed up 1.12 percent and the semiconductor sub-index ended up 1.28 percent.

Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, gained 1.40 percent to close at NT$254.00, with 24.45 million shares changing hands.

"In addition to the semiconductor segment, select suppliers to Apple Inc. played catch-up to further boost the tech sector and the broader market," Chang said.

iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. rose 2.61 percent to close at NT$94.30 on follow-through buying after its Internet-focused subsidiary Foxconn Industrial Internet Co. Ltd. secured regulatory approval from China last week to launch an IPO in Shanghai.

Largan Precision Co., a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, also added 2.46 percent to close at NT$3,955.00 to remain the most expensive stock in Taiwan, following consolidation in recent sessions.

"I am happy to see the financial sector attract strong buying today after several financial firms reported strong earnings in February," Chang said. "Higher interest rates in the future are expected to boost their bottom lines."

In the financial sector, which closed up 2.06 percent, Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 2.57 percent to end at NT$51.80 and Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained 4.81 percent to end at NT$54.50.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$12.37 billion-worth of shares on the main board Monday.

(By Frances Huang)

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