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Taiwan shares end higher as buying rotates to non-high-tech stocks

Taiwan shares end higher as buying rotates to non-high-tech stocks

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved higher to close above the 9,600 point mark Friday as buying rotated to select non-high-tech stocks, in particular in the financial and petrochemical sectors, dealers said. Buying was encouraged after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its quantitative easing (QE) program would start March 9, which could lead to more foreign funds entering the Asian market, they said. While many electronics blue chips, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), lost ground as investors locked in recent gains, smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???) rose sharply on optimism over its 2015 prospects, they said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 50.68 points, or 0.52 percent, at 9,645.77, after moving between 9,574.55 and 9,645.77, on turnover of NT$93.81 billion (US$2.98 billion). The market opened down 7.5 points and fell to the day's low on follow-through selling from a session earlier, but it soon staged a rebound as investors reacted to the ECB's finalization of the timetable for its QE program, dealers said.
Starting March 9, the ECB plans to pump 60 billion euros (US$66 billion) into the market per month. "When the ECB starts its monthly fund injections, more and more European investors may move their funds into Asian markets, boosting liquidity in the region," Hua Nan Securities analyst Henry Miao said. "Many investors here jumped into the market on hopes that the strong liquidity will further push up shares in Taiwan," Miao said. Miao said that while the benchmark electronics sector continued to trade in a narrow range, with many heavyweights taking a breather after posting gains recently, old economy stocks drew attention because of their relatively low valuations. "Investors rushed to pick up petrochemical stocks, in particular the stocks under the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, ????), while large-cap financial firms also attracted bargain hunters," Miao said. Among companies under the FPG corporate umbrella, Formosa Plastics Corp. (??) rose 1.60 percent to close at NT$76.20, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. (??) gained 2.16 percent to end at NT$71.00, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (??) closed up 2.20 percent at NT$69.10. In the financial sector, Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) rose 1.84 percent to close at NT$55.40, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) added 0.74 percent to end at NT$47.50. "The gains posted by these non-high-tech stocks helped the broader market offset the impact of the selling in TSMC," the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, Miao said. TSMC, the world's largest contract chip maker, fell 0.67 percent to close at NT$149.00, with 31.35 million shares changing hands, while rival United Microelectronics Corp. (??) ended unchanged at NT$15.65. Outperforming the electronics sector, Largan rose 4.59 percent to close at NT$2,735,00 as investors ignored the company's 35 percent month-on-month sales decline in February on expectations that Largan's sales growth momentum will return after the traditionally slow first quarter. "The local bourse still continue to track Wall Street," Miao said. "So investors should watch for Washington's non-farm payroll date for February, which will be reported later in the day. It could affect shares in the U.S. market." (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-28 22:38 GMT+08:00