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Taiwan shares plummet in morning trading

Taiwan shares plummet in morning trading

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Taiwan shares took a beating Tuesday morning in the wake of steep falls on Wall Street and in major European markets overnight amid renewed concerns over debt problems in the eurozone, dealers said. The heavy losses in Taiwan also reflected another overnight plunge in international crude oil prices and sharp falls in energy stocks in the U.S. market, leaving investors wary that further declines in oil prices could lead Wall Street to weaken further, they said. Large-cap stocks in both the electronics and old economy sectors came under heavy pressure, pushing the local index down by more than 100 points, dealers said. As of 11:25 a.m., the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange had lost 2.00 percent to 9,088.80 on turnover of NT$64.71 billion (US$2.02 billion). "Judging from the expanded trading volume, I'm guessing foreign institutional investors are on the sell side and unloading their holdings after Wall Street turned ugly overnight," investment consultant firm CMoney analyst Chen Wei-tai said. "Foreign institutional selling focused on market heavyweights, speeding up the pace of the broader market's decline," Chen said. Among the falling large-cap stocks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, had fallen 3.58 percent to NT$134.50, with 34.03 million shares changing hands. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., had lost 2.41 percent to NT$85.10, while Largan Precision Co., a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, had shed 2.77 percent to NT$2,285.00 despite reporting record high revenue for 2014. In the petrochemical sector, which has been hurt by a steep decline in international crude oil prices, Formosa Plastics Corp. had fallen 2.10 percent to NT$70.00, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. had shed 2.19 percent to NT$62.50 as of 11:25 a.m. Crude oil traded in New York fell below US$50 per barrel at one point overnight for the first time in almost six years, and traders were afraid the downtrend will continue. "Market sentiment has turned very cautious ahead of parliamentary elections in Greece, where the anti-austerity opposition is ahead in the polls," Chen said. "Political uncertainty has boosted concerns that the debt problems in the eurozone will worsen." The analyst said that with the negative leads overseas it was no surprise that Taiwan's market fell sharply Tuesday morning, and he contended the market has become weaker technically after the losses. Chen said a further downturn is possible, but he expected the weighted index to receive some technical support at around 9,000 points in the near term. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-25 08:08 GMT+08:00