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Taiwan shares fall below 8,100 points (update)

Taiwan shares fall below 8,100 points (update)

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) Taiwan shares extended their losses from a day earlier to fall below the 8,100-point mark Wednesday morning amid lingering concerns over economic fundamentals in Taiwan and around the globe, dealers said. Selling focused on large cap stocks across the board, in particular in the bellwether electronics sector and the financial sector, to place heavy downward pressure on the broader market, they said. As of 11:07 a.m., the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange had fallen 1.70 percent to 8,038.01 on turnover of NT$50.98 billion (US$1.67 billion). The electronics sub-index was down 1.60 percent and the financial sub-index was 2.81 percent lower, causing a sharp fall in the weighted index. "After the downturn seen in recent sessions, market sentiment has been badly hurt," Ta Ching Securities Investment Consulting analyst Eric Lai said. "Right now, there aren't many people who want to hold their stocks because they're worried about further volatility down the road." Since April 27, when the weighted index hit its 2015 high, Taiwan's stock market had fallen about 1,800 points, or 18 percent, as of Tuesday. Lai said many investors are worried about economic fundamentals at home and abroad and fear that slowing global demand will hurt Taiwan's exports, which serve as the backbone of the country's economic growth. Last week, the government trimmed its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product growth in 2015 to 1.56 percent, from an earlier estimate of a 3.28 percent increase made in May, citing worse-than-expected exports as a reason. "Now the equity market is watching closely what the government will come up with to stimulate the economy," Lai said. The Executive Yuan is expected to release a short-term stimulus plan later this week to inject life into the local economy following the cut in the 2015 GDP growth forecast. Lai said the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index's 2.08 percent plunge overnight also prompted investors here to dump their high-tech holdings due to worries that the electronics sector will feel the pinch of weakening global demand. Among the falling semiconductor stocks on Taiwan's main board, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (???), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, had fallen 0.79 percent to NT$125.00 as of 11:07 a.m., while integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (???) had shed 1.69 percent to NT$262.50. In the Apple Inc. supply chain, smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???), the most expensive stock in the local market, was down 4.67 percent at NT$2,855.00, and metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. (??) was down 3.03 percent at NT$335.50. These heavyweight Apple suppliers faced heavy selling despite reports that the U.S. consumer electronics giant will likely launch three new iPhones -- the 4.7-inch, 5-inch and 5.5-inch models -- in September. There have been rising fears that the intense competition in the global smartphone market will affect the new iPhone shipments. In the financial sector, Cathay Financial Holding Co. had lost 2.92 percent to NT$49.90 and Fubon Financial Holding Co. had shed 3.91 percent to NT$43.05 as investors feared that the weakness of the Chinese yuan will drag down the value of these financial institutions' yuan-denominated assets. (By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-28 22:21 GMT+08:00