Taiwan shares end up as Apple concept stocks gain

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher Wednesday as local suppliers to Apple Inc. generally bounced back from recent losses to push up the broader market on expectations that the next generation of the iPhone will give a boost to their profitability, dealers said. Other high-tech stocks, such as semiconductor firms and notebook computer suppliers, benefited from bargain hunting after the market suffered a sell-off last month, while shipping stocks were placed under the market spotlight in hopes of a peak season in the third quarter, the dealers said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 52.21 points, or 0.56 percent, at 9,375.23, after moving between 9,298.36 and 9,404.76, on turnover of NT$85.97 billion (US$2.78 billion). The market opened down 0.13 percent and fell to the day's low before bargain hunters turned active, helping the broader market climb out of the earlier weakness, the dealers said. Buying accelerated to vault the index to top the 9,400 point mark at one point, and some investors then pocketed their earlier gains to keep the index below that level for the rest of the session, they said. "Judging from the market movement, I think that many investors were reluctant to chase shares for the moment when the debt woes in the eurozone remained in place," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said. Greece defaulted on its debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund June 30. The European country has scheduled a referendum for July 5 to decide whether its public will accept the conditions set by the country's creditors. "The upcoming vote is a wild card. Investor sentiment remained overshadowed by uncertainty over the economic climate in the eurozone. So it was no surprise that the market failed to overcome the nearest technical resistance level at around 9,450 points," Huang said. Among the gaining Apple concept stocks, smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. (???) added 4.40 percent to close at NT$3,680.00 to remain the most expensive stock in the local market. Metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. (??) rose 1.55 percent to end at NT$392.00 off an early high of NT$402.00 after a European brokerage raised its target price on the stock to NT$446.00 from NT$437.00. Also in the electronics sector, which ended up 0.94 percent, PC vendor Asustek Computer Inc. (??) gained 1.50 percent to close at NT$305.00 and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (???) rose 1.30 percent to end at NT$427.50. In the shipping sector, Evergreen Marine Corp. (???) rose 3.75 percent to close at NT$16.60 after the container shipper took its ninth 8,508 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessel from Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corp. (??). Evergreen Marine will deploy the new boat on its Far East-South America routes. "After Monday's sell-off, the local market needed more time to consolidate," Huang said. "The index could continue to move in a narrow range until the results of the Greek referendum come out." The local main board closed down 2.39 percent on Monday due to Greece's debt woes. (By Frances Huang)