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Stock market ends lower as investors pocket earlier gains

Stock market ends lower as investors pocket earlier gains

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed lower Tuesday as investors locked in gains built earlier in the session, with selling largely focusing on large-cap stocks in both the electronics and old economy sectors, dealers said. Amid fears that foreign institutional investors would continue to dump their holdings after a large net sell seen on Monday, investors were cautious about the market's outlook, they said. Bucking the downturn on the broader market were select high-tech stocks, including Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE, ???), that are said to be part of the Apple Watch supply chain, preventing the index from falling further, dealers said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) closed down 26.45 points, or 0.27 percent, at 9,536.53, after moving between 9,520.33 and 9,583.78, on turnover of NT$91.90 billion (US$2.92 billion). The market opened up 3.27 points and rose to the day's high following a technical rebound on Wall Street overnight. But as the index moved closer to the 9,600-point mark, selling set in and kept the index below the previous close for the rest of the session, dealers said. "The local equity market remained in consolidation mode amid cautious sentiment as many investors remained wary of a further sell-off by foreign institutional investors," President Securities analyst Vickie Hsieh said. According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$8.69 billion in shares on the main board after a net sell of NT$10.72 billion in shares on Monday. "Fortunately, the index still closed above the 20-day moving average of 9,529 points today. Otherwise, more selling would have followed. The index could test 9,400 points soon," Hsieh said. The analyst said the silver lining Tuesday was that ASE, which is believed to be the sole IC packaging and testing services provider for the Apple Watch, unveiled by Apple Inc. overnight, posted significant gains to lend support to the index. ASE rose 6.70 percent to close at NT$47.74, with 77.85 million shares changing hands, while the semiconductor sub-index ended down 0.39 percent on continued foreign institutional selling. "The launch of the Apple Watch is expected to help ASE strengthen its bottom line. That's why the stock appeared resilient in recent sessions as it has become a favorite of foreign investors," Hsieh said. Many other large-cap stocks suffered losses, however. Among them, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the world's largest contract chip maker, fell 1.03 percent to close at NT$144.00, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, lost 0.80 percent to end at NT$87.10. "With the market still in the doldrums, I recommend that investors pick up financial stocks that have lagged behind the broader market in terms of valuations," Hsieh said. The financial sector closed up 0.44 on bargain hunting, with Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) up 2.91 percent to end at NT$56.60 and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) up 0.63 percent to close at NT$47.80.
(By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-17 00:36 GMT+08:00