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Taiwan shares rise in last session of 2012; HTC ends above NT$300

Taiwan shares rise in last session of 2012; HTC ends above NT$300

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed higher Friday, the last trading session of the year, as the financial sector, led by heavyweight Fubon Financial Holding Co., attracted rotational buying, dealers said. The market also got a boost from smartphone vendor HTC Corp., which built on Thursday's rally to breach the NT$300 mark amid optimism over sales of the company's Butterfly model, they said. The weighted index closed up 51.90 points, or 0.66 percent, at 7,699.50, after moving between 7,665.04 and 7,708.31, on turnover of NT$70.15 billion (US$2.41 billion). For 2012, the Taiex gained 627.42 points, or 8.87 percent, and will finish in the middle of the pack among markets in East Asia. Seoul's Kospi will finish with similar gains as Taiwan's market, having risen 9.4 percent for the year as of Friday. But the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo will finish well ahead of the local bourse, having gained nearly 23 percent in 2012 as of Dec. 28. The SSE Composite Index in Shanghai will finish as the weakest of indexes in the region, having gained only 1.5 percent so far this year. In Friday's session, the market opened up 0.69 percent and moved to the day's high after Wall Street rebounded overnight on hopes that the White House and lawmakers will move with more urgency to resolve a looming fiscal cliff in Washington, dealers said. After the index breached the 7,700 point level in early trading, profit-taking set in to limit the market's gains, but interest in large-cap stocks in the financial and high-tech sectors picked up to keep the index well above the previous day's close, they said. "I suspect buying largely came from the government-led funds to acquire market heavyweights in a bid to give a boost to the broader market and shore up investor confidence," Horizon Securities analyst Benson Huang said. In the financial sector, Fubon Financial gained 2.48 percent to close at NT$35.10 after the company announced that it and its wholly owned subsidiary Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank will spend a total of NT$30.6 billion to acquire 29 percent and 51 percent stakes, respectively, in First Sino Bank. Dealers said investors hailed the acquisition as they expect Fubon Financial to capitalize on First Sino Bank's existing business network to expand its reach in the China market. Led by Fubon Financial's gains, China Life Insurance rose 1.98 percent to end at NT$26.20, and Taishin Financial added 1.32 percent to close at NT$11.55. Among the winning high-tech stocks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip maker, rose 1.46 percent to close at NT$97.00, while HTC added 1.52 percent to end at NT$300.50. "Because of the popularity of HTC's Butterfly model, it's possible that the company will post further gains as many institutional investors have resumed buying the stock," Huang said. Huang observed that the local bourse has become technically healthier following Friday's upward surge, and he believes the index could challenge the 7,700-point mark again after the New Year's break because of the high level of liquidity in the market. "As long as no negative leads emerge from the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington over the next few days, buying interest in local shares is likely to continue," Huang said. The fiscal cliff refers to the US$500 billion in expiring tax cuts and automatic spending reductions that will kick in gradually in the U.S. starting on Jan. 1 if alternative deficit-cutting measures are not adopted. The financial, machinery and electronics, textile, and plastics and chemical sectors scored the highest gains among the eight major sectors of the market, all finishing up 0.7 percent. Paper and pulp shares added 0.5 percent, and cement stocks rose 0.4 percent, while food stocks and construction shares closed down 0.2 percent. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2020-12-01 10:56 GMT+08:00