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Taiwan shares end below 8,800 points

Taiwan shares end below 8,800 points

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed below the 8,800- point mark Thursday as the bellwether electronics sector suffered heavy losses amid concerns over global demand, dealers said. Semiconductor stocks took a beating after the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index on Wall Street plunged more than 2.5 percent overnight, while local suppliers to Apple Inc. extended their downturn from a session earlier after the U.S. firm gave a lower-than-expected sales forecast for the current quarter, the dealers said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 127.58 points, or 1.43 percent, at 8,791.12, after moving between 8,751.71 and 8,895.88 Thursday on turnover of NT$101.12 billion (US$3.24 billion). The market opened down 0.65 percent, led by semiconductor stocks, after investors took cues from a plunge of U.S. IC stocks overnight in the wake of an announcement by mobile chip supplier Qualcomm Inc. that it will cut its workforce by 15 percent, and a 47 percent decline in net profit for the three months to June, the dealers said. Selling escalated as weak sentiment remained toward the outlook for Apple, which gave lower-than-expected sales guidance for the current quarter, prompting investors to keep unloading their Apple concept stocks on the local main board, they said. "Judging from the expanded turnover, selling was driven by panic as concerns over global demand for high-tech devices have been running deeper," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "So the bellwether electronics sector came under grave pressure throughout the session." The electronics sector closed down 2.32 percent, while the semiconductor sub-index ended down 2.82 percent. Huang said that after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) released a slower-than-expected sales forecast last week, market sentiment toward the global high-tech industry has turned weaker. "Apple and Qualcomm simply dealt another blow to the market," he said. TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, led the semiconductor sector to trend lower, down 2.16 percent to close at NT$136.00 with 36.40 million shares changing hands. IC designer MediaTek Inc. (???) lost 2.43 percent to end at NT$342.00 and IC packaging and testing service provider Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (???) shed 5.50 percent to close at NT$37.80. Among the falling Apple concept stocks, smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???), the most expensive stock on the local main board, shed 6.77 percent to end at NT$3,305.00 and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), an assembler of iPhones and iPads, lost 4.54 percent to end at NT$90.50. Selling also spread to the old economy sector amid concerns that further volatility in the global markets will be seen in the near future, although these stocks appeared resilient compared with their high-tech counterparts, the dealers said. "The most pressing fears are that the U.S. Federal Reserve will kick off an interest rate hike later in the year and that higher borrowing costs could send more ripples through the markets," Huang said. In the old economy sector, food maker Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (??) lost 1.08 percent to close at NT$54.70 and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (??) ended down 0.90 percent at NT$66.10. "Since the index fell below 8,800 points, it is very possible that the market will incur more losses in the near future," Huang said. "I think that some technical support will emerge at around 8,750 points." (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-29 00:44 GMT+08:00