Taiwan shares end slightly higher, ahead of 10,400 points

2019/03/13 17:11:10 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher on thin turnover Wednesday as gains were capped ahead of strong technical resistance at around 10,400 points, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector remained a driver of the latest upturn as investors took cues from gains posted by tech stocks in the U.S. market overnight, while non-high tech stocks appeared mixed throughout the session, the dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), or Taiex, ended up 29.99 points, or 0.29 percent, at 10,373.32, after moving between 10,331.27 and 10,373.32, on turnover of NT$94.36 billion (US$3.05 billion).

The previous day, turnover stood at NT$111.14 billion.

The market opened down 0.12 percent at the day's low on a mild correction from a session earlier, when the Taiex closed up 0.91 percent, but soon regained its footing as the electronics sector led the upturn, the dealers said.

Major Apple concept stocks generally attracted buying, which stabilized the main board, as investors took cues from a 1.12 percent increase enjoyed by Apple Inc. shares on Wall Street overnight, the dealers said.

However, caution about resistance ahead of 10,400 points kept the Taiex from rising further, they said.

"The reduced turnover today showed cautious market sentiment, as many investors were afraid of a pullback as the Taiex moved closer to 10,400 points," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

"After 10,400 points, stronger resistance lies at around the 240-day moving average of 10,456 points."

"So, after yesterday's strong showing, the local main board took a pause today," Huang said.

Fortunately, Huang said, the electronics sector continued to push up the local main board as buying was sparked by the tech-heavy Nasdaq index in the United States, which closed up 0.44 percent overnight.

In reflection of Apple's upturn, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TWSE), which provides processors for iPhone production, rose 0.64 percent to close at NT$237.00, with 20.48 million shares changing hands.

Led by TSMC, the electronics sector ended up 0.61 percent.

Among other rising Apple suppliers, smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. gained 2.81 percent to close at NT$4,750.00; metal casing producer Catcher Technology Co. rose 3.17 percent to end at NT$228.00; and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. bucked the upturn, down 0.70 percent to close at NT$70.70.

"Wednesday's session was quiet in low turnover as a whole but select mid-cap tech stocks attracted strong interest, seeing their relatively high trading volume," Huang said.

Huang referred to stocks like flat panel material supplier BenQ Materials Corp., which added 4.85 percent to end at NT$28.10, with trading volume hitting 65.81 million shares.

While the tech sector moved higher, old economy stocks appeared mixed. Among them, Asia Cement Corp. rose 1.43 percent to close at NT$38.90, while Formosa Plastics Corp. ended unchanged at NT$104.50 and food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. fell 0.83 percent to close at NT$71.90.

"I expect that the main board will continue to move in a narrow range as investors are still watching whether and when Washington and Beijing will conclude talks to resolve their trade dispute," Huang said.

"In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve has scheduled a policymaking meeting for next week that could move the global financial markets," Huang added.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$2.36 billion-worth of shares on the main board Wednesday.

(By Frances Huang)

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