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Taiwan stock index ends above 9,600 points

Taiwan stock index ends above 9,600 points

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed above the 9,600 point mark as the local bourse played catch-up with Wall Street, which rose higher while Taiwan's market was closed from Feb. 16 to 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, dealers said. Foreign institutional investors were seen as the main force behind the strong gain, snapping up large-cap stocks to push the spot market higher and increase the value of their holdings in the futures market, dealers said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 99.86 points, or 1.04 percent, at 9,629.37, after moving between 9,582.39 and 9,638.48, on turnover of NT$109.04 billion (US$3.45 billion). Tuesday was the first trading session of Taiwan's market in the new Year of the Goat. The market opened up 0.68 percent after Wall Street rose about 1 percent while the local bourse was closed, and the momentum was sustained to vault the index past 9,600 points, with buying focused on market heavyweights, dealers said. Investors targeted the bellwether electronics early in the session but extended their interest to non-high tech sectors, in particular financial stocks, to keep the market in positive territory throughout the day. "I think foreign institutional investors were the major buyers in today's market as they still hold a big number of long position contracts in the futures market," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said. According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$10.97 billion in shares on the main board Tuesday. It was the 11th consecutive trading session in which the total value of shares bought by foreign investors topped the value of the shares they sold. "In the wake of the gains posted on Wall Street over the holiday, these foreign investors simply picked up local shares to play catch-up. The upturn in the local bourse was in line with global markets and very reasonable," Huang said. The electronics sector closed up 1.06 percent, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market. TSMC closed up 1.68 percent at NT$151.00, off an early high of NT$152.00, with 72.60 million shares changing hands. "TSMC failed to sustain its intra-day high as many investors feared the stock will soon pull back after recent strong gains," said Huang, who expected the stock to face technical resistance at around NT$154.00 to NT$155.00. Other gaining high-tech stocks included Apple Inc. suppliers that benefited from a new record for Apple's stock price set overnight. Largan Precision Co. (???), which supplies smartphone camera lenses to Apple, rose 2.77 percent to close at NT$2,780.00 and remain the most expensive stock in Taiwan. Pegatron Corp. (??), which is said to be assembling the iPhone 6 for Apple, gained 2.48 percent to end at NT$86.90, becoming the most expensive stock among Taiwanese contract electronics makers after Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) closed at NT$85.80. The financial sub-index, seen as a laggard compared with electronics stocks, closed up 1.39 percent, Huang said. "Due to the relatively low valuations of financial shares, foreign institutional investors have been increasing their holdings in the sector, in particular in large caps, such as Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???), that have strong bottom lines," Huang said. Fubon Financial gained 3.74 percent to end at NT$55.50, and Cathay Financial rose 1.27 percent to close at NT$48.00. Huang cautioned, however, that investors should pay attention to the congressional testimony of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday and Wednesday. "Her comments could give clues on possible changes in the Fed's monetary policy, and in turn affect global markets," Huang said. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-26 11:14 GMT+08:00