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Taiwan shares remain ranged; turnover keeps shrinking

Taiwan shares remain ranged; turnover keeps shrinking

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) Taiwan share prices continued in a consolidation mode Thursday amid cautious sentiment ahead of a quarterly policy making meeting scheduled by the central bank for later in the day, dealers said. With foreign institutional investors remaining away from the trading floor because of the upcoming New Year holiday, turnover continued to shrink to the lowest level so far this year, while investor confidence remained haunted by concerns over the debt problems in the eurozone, the dealers said. The weighted index closed up 18.15 points or 0.25 percent at the day's high of 7,074.82, off a low of 6,998.97, on turnover of NT$52.11 billion (US$1.72 billion). The market opened down 0.49 percent after Wall Street incurred losses overnight amid lingering fears over the debt crisis in Europe, and selling escalated to drag down the index below 7,000 points before bargain hunting emerged to reverse an early decline, the dealers said. The NT$500 billion National Stabilization Fund was believed to have been used to pick up large-cap stocks, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest contract electronics maker, to help keep the index above the 7,000 point mark until the end of the session, they said. "Without active participation of foreign investors, trade on the local bourse appeared anemic," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "I expect tomorrow will see another quiet session," she added. Huang said many investors stayed on the sidelines, watching closely whether the central bank will cut key interest rates in its quarterly policy meeting as the local economy has been showing signs of slowing down. Many market analysts expect the bank to leave key interest rates unchanged, as the local market remains awash in ample liquidity. "I do not expect any immediate interest rate cuts, either. Although the government and several think tanks have lowered Taiwan's economic growth forecasts for 2011 and 2012, the possibility of a recession is remote," Huang said. Huang said the National Stabilization Fund is expected to lend further support to the market in a bid to maintain the index above 7,000 points in the short term. Among the market heavyweights, TSMC closed up 0.13 percent at NT$75.80 and Hon Hai Precision gained 0.48 percent to end at NT$82.90. The machinery and electronics sector scored the highest gains among the eight major stock categories, finishing up 0.5 percent, while the cement, textile and construction sectors all closed up 0.3 percent. However, plastics and chemicals fell 0.9 percent, foodstuffs dropped 0.3 percent and financials lost 0.2 percent, while the paper and pulp sector closed unchanged. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-04-23 20:38 GMT+08:00