Taiwan shares end lower amid US-China trade tensions

(TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.19 percent to close at NT$256.00, with 18.60 million shares changing hands, after …

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed slightly lower Friday after the market reacted to the United States’ increase of punitive tariffs on US$200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods that took effect at noon Taipei time, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector led the downturn, but some investors parked their funds in select old economy and financial stocks to lend some support to the broader market, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, ended down 20.68 points, or 0.19 percent, at 10,712.99, after moving between 10,669.39 and 10,834.69. Turnover was NT$124.49 billion (US$4.03 billion).

The market opened up 0.17 percent and rose to the day’s high at around 10 a.m. on a technical rebound from a session earlier, when the Taiex ended down 1.74 percent because of the ongoing trade friction between the U.S. and China, dealers said.

But with the Taiex surpassing the 10,800-point mark and the increase in punitive tariffs on imported Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent taking effect, selling set in to pull the market into negative territory before some late buying limited the losses, they said.

“The earlier gains were simply technical in nature from the plunge a session earlier,” Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said.

“Concerns over the global trade issue still dictated market sentiment, in particular the implementation of the 25 percent tariffs.”

The U.S. announced it would carry out the tariff increase against China, effective from 12:01 a.m. Friday Washington time, after the first day of the latest round of trade talks in Washington on Thursday did not yield satisfactory results.

“We have to pay close attention to how the ongoing trade talks will proceed after the negotiations resume Friday,” Su said.

“The market is also worried about potential new 25 percent tariffs on an additional US$325 billion worth of Chinese goods as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Sunday.”

Su said the electronics sector continued to dominate the movement of the broader market throughout the session Friday. The sub-index for the sector closed down 0.37 percent at 439.41, off a high of 445.33.

Among the falling large cap tech stocks, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.19 percent to close at NT$256.00, with 18.60 million shares changing hands, after hitting a high of NT$259.00.

iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market cap, lost 0.71 percent to end at NT$83.70, off a high of NT$85.60, while Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., rose 1.02 percent to close at NT$4,455.00 amid optimism over its sales in May.

“With the electronics sector in the doldrums, some investors moved their funds to old economy and financial stocks as a safe haven,” Su said.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. rose 1.05 percent to close at NT$77.30, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. added 0.94 percent to end at NT$107.00, and Formosa Plastics Corp. gained 0.92 percent to close at NT$109.50.

In the financial sector, which closed up 0.05 percent, CTBC Bank rose 1.68 percent to end at NT$21.20, and Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank added 0.80 percent to close at NT$50.70, while Cathay Financial Holding Co. fell 0.69 percent to end at NT$43.20.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$3.78 billion in shares Friday.

“While foreign institutional investors dumped their holdings today, I’m guessing government-led funds stood on the buy side to prevent the Taiex from falling further at a time of rising trade tensions,” Su said.

“The market is still facing stiff technical resistance ahead of 10,800 points for the moment,” he added.

(By Frances Huang)

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Taiwan shares end lower but recoup some early losses

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, fell 0.95 percent to close at NT$260.00, off a low of NT$259.50, with 25.53 million shares …

Taipei, May 8 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed lower Wednesday, despite recovery from some early losses, amid renewed concerns over trade frictions between the United States and China, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector led the downturn, with selling focusing on large-cap stocks such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), but buying in some old economy stocks helped prop up the broader market, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended down 63.43 points, or 0.58 percent, at 10,923.71, after moving between 10,867.06 and 10,946.82 on turnover of NT$109.35 billion (US$3.54 billion).

The market opened down 48.67 points and fell more than 100 points in the first few minutes as investors reacted to a 473-point plunge on the Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight.

The Dow dove after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters that the U.S. will increase punitive tariffs on Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, starting Friday, dealers said.

After seeing the early loses on the local main board, bargain hunters turned active, which helped moderate the downturn by the end of the session, dealers said.

“Lighthizer was simply repeating the threats Trump made (on Twitter Sunday),” Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said. “The bargain hunting on the local market showed optimism that the upcoming trade talks (Thursday) between the U.S. and China will yield some positive results before the new tariffs take effect.”

Huang said that even the new tariffs are implemented, they may be reduced or removed in more constructive trade negotiations in the future.

“Moreover, the April trade data (released Tuesday) indicated that while Taiwan’s total exports fell year-on-year for the sixth consecutive month, its exports to the U.S. rose significantly (21.5 percent),” he said.

“This is an indication that many Taiwanese exporters are responding to the China-U.S. trade disputes by bringing some of their investments back to Taiwan,” Huang said.

The slide of the local electronics sector dictated the movement of the broader market, after the tech-heavy Nasdaq index plunged 1.96 percent on the U.S. market overnight, dealers said.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, fell 0.95 percent to close at NT$260.00, off a low of NT$259.50, with 25.53 million shares changing hands. TSMC’s losses dragged down the Taiex by about 25 points and led the electronics sector to fall 0.73 percent.

Also in the tech sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, dropped 0.81 percent to end at NT$85.90 after hitting a low of NT$85.30.

Integrated circuit packaging and testing firm ASE Technology Holding Co. shed 1.41 percent to close at NT$70.00, off a low of NT$69.20.

“Select old economy stocks, however, bucked the downturn on the broader market as investors rushed to put their money into a safe haven,” Huang said.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. climbed 3.24 percent to close at NT$76.40; textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp. added 0.15 percent to end at NT$32.85; and Taiwan Cement Corp. finished 0.10 percent higher at NT$43.00.

In the financial sector, which ended down 0.39 percent, Fubon Financial Holding Co. dropped 0.77 percent to close at NT$45.05, while Mega Financial Holding Co. ended unchanged at NT$30.50.

“The global trade issue is expected to continue to move the global financial markets,” Huang said. “At the same time, investors should pay close attention to the ongoing earnings season for more clues about the economic fundamentals.”

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$6.23 billion worth of shares on the main board Wednesday.

(By Frances Huang)

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Taiwan shares extend gains, led by bellwether electronics sector

(TSMC), led the gains in reaction to a technical rebound staged by integrated circuit firms in U.S. markets overnight, while old-economy and financial …

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan extended their momentum from a day earlier, gaining nearly 1 percent with the help of an upswing posted by the bellwether electronics sector, dealers said.

Semiconductor stocks, in particular contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), led the gains in reaction to a technical rebound staged by integrated circuit firms in U.S. markets overnight, while old-economy and financial stocks finished mixed, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, closed up 91.81 points, or 0.83 percent, at 11,096.30, after moving between 11,018.86 and 11,097.00. Turnover was NT$114.43 billion (US$3.70 billion).

The market opened up 0.30 percent on follow-up buying from a day earlier, following a 1.11 percent rebound staged by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index overnight, offsetting a 0.46 percent fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, dealers said.

The market got a boost from buying in IC stocks, and momentum continued to accelerate to push the Taiex closer to the 11,100 point mark by the end of the session, they said.

“Due to a strong performance in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, investors rushed to pick up IC stocks soon after the local market opened,” Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said.

“Investors here simply shrugged off a falling Dow, which came after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted that it would not cut interest rates.”

At a two-day policymaking meeting that ended Wednesday, the Fed decided to leave interest rates unchanged.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said after the meeting that low inflationary pressures seen in the U.S. market recently may just be “transitory,” implying that the Fed was not likely to cut interest rates in the near future.

“TSMC served as one of the drivers lifting the electronics sector as well as the broader market today,” Su said. “After the Taiex ended above 11,000 points yesterday, it seemed that market sentiment improved to some extent.”

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, closed 2.32 percent higher at NT$265.00, with 29.81 million shares changing hands. TSMC’s gains boosted the Taiex by about 60 points alone, and led to a 1.57 percent rise in the electronics sector.

IC designer MediaTek Inc. rose 3.69 percent to end at NT$309.00 after its gross margin for the first quarter rose 1.8 percentage points from a quarter earlier to 40.7 percent on an improved product mix.

IC packaging and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co. also posted gains, adding 1.84 percent to close at NT$72.00.

Buying spread to other large cap tech stocks.

IPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, gained 1.50 percent to close at NT$88.20, and Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., rose 1.41 percent to end at NT$4,675.00.

With market attention focused on the electronics sector, old-economy and financial stocks appeared mixed throughout the session.

Among the old-economy stocks, Taiwan Cement Corp. rose 1.54 percent to close at NT$42.85, and Asia Cement Corp. added 0.71 percent to end at NT$42.35, while Eclat Textile Co. fell 5.47 percent to close at NT$415.00 and rival Makalot Industrial Co. lost 3.04 percent to end at NT$207.50.

In the financial sector, which closed down 0.01 percent, Cathay Financial Holding Co. fell 0.44 percent to close at NT$45.45, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. lost 0.54 percent to end at NT$46.15.

CTBC Financial Holding Co. rose 1.63 percent to close at NT$21.85.

“After the gains seen in the past few sessions, technically speaking, the market is expected to see stiff downward pressure before making another takeoff,” Su said.

“In addition, the market could see some volatility down the road before all listed companies report their sales data for April by May 10, which is expected to affect market sentiment,” Su said.

Su suggested that investors pay attention to the non-farm payroll data due out later in the day in Washington to get a better feel for how the Fed will handle monetary policy in the coming months.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$4.16 billion in shares on the market Friday.

(By Frances Huang)

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Taiwan shares end on mild technical rebound; turnover reduced

iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, lost 1.03 percent to close at NT$86.90, off an …

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan staged a mild technical rebound from a session earlier to end higher Tuesday as buying rotated to select old economy and financial stocks and the bellwether electronics sector came off an early low, dealers said.

Turnover shrank as many investors were reluctant to chase prices for the moment, with tech heavyweights at home and in the U.S. set to hold investor conferences. At the same time, market sentiment remained cautious ahead of the conclusion of a U.S. Federal Reserve policymaking meeting later this week, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) or the Taiex ended up 28.67 points, or 0.26 percent, at 10,967.73, after moving between 10,910.78 and 10,978.10, on turnover of NT$103.41 billion (US$3.35 billion). Monday’s turnover stood at NT$121.16 billion.

The market opened up 6.88 points on a rebound from the previous session, when the Taiex closed down 0.12 percent, as investors were encouraged to pick up local equities by the upturn on U.S. markets, where the S&P 500 hit a new high, up 0.11 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index ended up 0.19 percent overnight, dealers said.

However, as the main board approached the 11,000 point mark, the Taiex faced some selling and fell into negative territory at one point before late session buying emerged to push the index back up by the end of the session, they said.

“Again, there has been stiff technical resistance ahead of the 11,000 point mark,” Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said. “Technically speaking, more time is needed for the main board to absorb the pressure before jumping over the hurdles.”

“The on-going earnings season in Taiwan and the U.S. has made many investors nervous, in particular before certain tech heavyweights release their first quarter results and give second quarter guidance,” Su said. “Such caution dragged down today’s turnover.”

Among the major tech firms, Apple Inc., which is one of the largest clients of many Taiwanese suppliers, is scheduled to hold an investor conference later Tuesday.

In the bellwether electronics sector, which benefited from late session buying and recovered from an earlier low to close up 0.18 percent, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, fell 0.19 percent to end at NT$259.00 after hitting a low of NT$258.00.

iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, lost 1.03 percent to close at NT$86.90, off an early low of NT$86.10.

Outperforming the broader market, integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc., which will release its first quarter results after the market closes Tuesday, gained 2.78 percent to close at the day’s high of NT$295.50.

Active rotational buying provided support to select old economy and financial stocks, helping to stabilize the broader market throughout the session, dealers said.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, shares in food brand Uni-President Enterprises rose 0.82 percent to close at NT$73.40, Yulon Nissan Motor Co. added 0.97 percent to end at NT$259.00, and Hotai Motor Co. added 4.01 percent to close at NT$467.00.

In the financial sector, which ended up 0.48 percent, CTBC Financial Holding Co. rose 1.20 percent to close at NT$21.15, and Mega Financial Holding Co. added 1.02 percent to end at 29.65 percent, while Fubon Financial Holding Co. fell 0.22 percent to close at NT$45.60.

“Investors had better pay close attention to the upcoming two-day policymaking meeting scheduled to start later today for its comments on how the U.S. economy is evolving, which is expected to impact investors’ sentiment worldwide,” Su said.

While any technical rebound will see a cap at around 11,000 points, Su said, the Taiex could see some short term technical support at the 20-day moving average of around 10,892 points.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$1.51 billion worth of shares on the main board Tuesday.

(By Frances Huang)

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Taiwan shares end slightly higher but close below 11000 points

(TSMC) propelled the broader market’s upturn, while other large cap stocks, in particular iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., slumped …

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher Monday as gains were limited by stiff technical resistance ahead of the 11,000-point mark, dealers said.

Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) propelled the broader market’s upturn, while other large cap stocks, in particular iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., slumped as investors locked in gains posted in recent sessions.

The overall market moved without any clear direction to follow Monday as U.S. markets were closed on Friday to observe Good Friday, leaving investors somewhat cautious, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, ended up 19.21 points, or 0.18 percent, at 10,987.71, after moving between 10,974.82 and 11,027.49.

Turnover was NT$111.23 billion (US$3.61 billion), after totaling NT$128.77 billion on Friday.

The market opened up 0.24 percent and rose to the day’s high as TSMC moved higher, pushing up both the semiconductor and electronics sub-indexes as well.

But with the Taiex surpassing 11,000 at one point, some investors started unloading their holdings to keep the index in a narrow trading range for the rest of the session, dealers said.

“It was another quiet session as concerns over the high technical hurdles ahead of 11,000 points remained in place,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. “The reduced turnover simply showed such caution.”

It was the fourth consecutive trading session in which the Taiex moved above 11,000 before giving up the gains and closing below that threshold.

“There is no doubt that technical resistance ahead of that level was strong. The main board still needs time to consolidate after recent solid gains,” Huang said.

Thanks to TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, Huang said, the Taiex was able to end higher Monday on hopes that TSMC will see sales growth pick up in the second half of this year.

After several foreign institutional investors raised their target prices on TSMC shares, the stock rose 0.57 percent to close at NT$266.00, with 24.91 million shares changing hands, after it came off an earlier high of NT$267.50.

Led by TSMC, the semiconductor sub-index ended up 0.88 percent, while the bellwether electronics sector closed up only 0.19 percent as Hon Hai, the second largest stock in terms of market capitalization after TSMC, lost 1.24 percent to end at NT$87.80.

Also in the electronics sector, memory chip maker Macronix International Co. rose 4.90 percent to close at NT$24.60.

But integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. fell 0.34 percent to end at NT$289.00, and Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., closed 0.33 percent lower at NT$4,570.00.

“The electronics sector remained the mainstream sector in the local market as it still accounted for more than 70 percent of the total turnover,” Huang said. “Non-high-tech stocks generally remained sluggish throughout the session.”

Among the old economy stocks, China Steel Corp., the largest steel maker in Taiwan, fell 0.40 percent to close at NT$25.10 and Taiwan Cement Corp. shed 1.68 percent to end at NT$41.05, while Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. added 0.46 percent to close at NT$109.00.

In the financial sector, which ended down 0.02 percent, Mega Financial Holding Co. fell 0.53 percent to end at NT$28.00; Cathay Financial Holding Co. ended unchanged at NT$44.35; and Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 0.11 percent to end at NT$42.25.

“Local market sentiment here is still dictated by the performance of U.S. markets, which have gained substantially in recent sessions and could now see some volatility, affecting global financial markets,” Huang said.

“Investors here should also pay close attention to moves made by foreign institutional investors,” Huang said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$946.43 million in shares on the market Monday.

(By Frances Huang)

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