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Top finance officials upbeat about Taiwan's stock market

Top finance officials upbeat about Taiwan's stock market

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) Taiwan's top finance officials on Tuesday expressed optimism toward the domestic stock market in the Year of the Goat, citing Taiwan's continued economic recovery. Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (???) said that while he was not in a position to forecast whether the Taiwan stock exchange's benchmark weighted index will challenge 10,000 points this year, he had faith that sound economic fundamentals would push the market higher. As of 11:52 a.m., the weighted index had added 1.10 percent to 9,634.97, topping last year's intra-day high of 9,593 points seen in July 2014 on the back of strong foreign institutional interest, dealers said. Tuesday was the first trading session of the Year of the Goat after the Lunar New Year holiday. In the just-concluded Year of the Horse, the main board rose 12.6 percent. Chang said Tuesday on the sidelines of a legislative session that he and many investors were bullish on the local equity market, especially after the government raised its forecast for Taiwan's 2014 economic growth to 3.78 percent, from 3.50 percent previously. Chang said improving manufacturing activity in Taiwan offered additional evidence of a strengthening economy. Taiwan's purchasing managers index (PMI) rose for the second consecutive month in January, gaining 3.4 points to 53.5, according to the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (???). A PMI reading of above 50 means expansion. Chang said the gain represented a growing economy that is paving the way for higher share prices in Taiwan's stock market. Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (???) agreed that a better economy will lead to a higher share prices, and he believed the local bourse would show stable growth in the Year of the Goat and extend its gains from a year earlier. Tseng said the local bourse has benefited from ample liquidity as foreign institutional investors continue to move funds into the market. According to Taiwan Stock Exchange data, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$62.1 billion (US$1.97 billion) in local shares in the 10 trading sessions leading up to the Lunar New Year holiday. Tseng warned investors, however, to remain alert to possible risks of a pullback by closely monitoring potential negative factors from abroad. Many analysts believe that valuations on Wall Street remain high, meaning that the U.S. market, which is seen as a barometer for the Taiwan market, could face volatility in the future. (By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Chen Cheng-wei, Tien Yu-pin and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-21 02:29 GMT+08:00