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Local bourse ends year above 9,300 points

Local bourse ends year above 9,300 points

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher Wednesday, the last trading session of the year, as late session buying boosted large-cap stocks in both the high-tech and old economy sectors to push the index above the 9,300-point mark, dealers said. Among the market heavyweights, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, benefited from the late session buying and lent support to the broader market, they said. Turnover remained thin, however, as many foreign institutional investors were still away from the local bourse for the holiday season, they added. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) ended up 38.83 points, or 0.41 percent, at the day's high of 9,307.26, off an early low of 9,252.31, on turnover of NT$59.15 billion (US$1.87 billion).
It was the fourth session since Christmas Day in which turnover was below NT$60 billion, an abnormally low level not seen in any other trading sessions the entire year. The market opened down 7.97 points and fell to the day's low on follow-through selling from a session earlier, and trading remained in a narrow range before late session buying emerged and pushed the index to the day's high at the close, dealers said. "Judging from the gains posted by large cap stocks, like TSMC, I suspect the late session interest came from some foreign institutional investors," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "Although many of them are away for the holiday season, I'm guessing that some have come back to start an early investment program for 2015. "Foreign institutional investors still hold about 10,000 net long position contracts in the futures market, indicating that they remain upbeat about the future movement of the local bourse," Huang said. According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$1.65 billion in local shares Wednesday. The bellwether electronics sector closed up 0.37 percent on the back of the late session buying. TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, rose 0.71 percent to close at NT$141.00, off an early low of NT$139.00, with 18.33 million shares changing hands. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, added 0.11 percent to end at NT$87.90, off an early low of NT$87.20, and United Microelectronics Corp., the second largest contract chip maker in Taiwan, gained 1.72 percent to close at NT$14.75, recovering from an early low of NT$14.50. Huang said buying also spread to the non-high tech sector. Among the gaining old economy stocks, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. rose 1.39 percent to close at NT$65.50, and Asia Cement Corp. added 0.78 percent to end at NT$39.00. The transportation sector closed up 1.54 percent, outperforming the broader market, after international crude oil prices fell to their lowest level in more than five years overnight. China Airlines gained 3.67 percent to end at NT$14.50, and EVA Airways rose 2.78 percent to close at NT$22.15 on hopes that lower fuel prices will cut their operating costs. "With the index breaching 9,300 points, the local bourse has become technically healthier," Huang said. "I expect that foreign investors will return to the local market in January to boost the index even higher." Huang cautioned, however, that the local bourse will face stiff technical resistance at around 9,600 points. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-04-12 12:46 GMT+08:00