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Taiwan shares end above 8,400 points on eased Fed concerns

Taiwan shares end above 8,400 points on eased Fed concerns

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher, above the 8,400-point mark Thursday, as investors took cues to buy from extended gains posted on Wall Street overnight amid eased fears of a possible interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, dealers said. The financial sector led the upturn on the local main board on rotational buying, while the high-tech sector as a whole continued momentum seen a session earlier, although interest in select electronics heavyweights such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) was limited, with investors waiting for sales numbers for the new iPhone models, they said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 112.21 points, or 1.34 percent, at 8,445.50, after moving between 8,377.31 and 8,467.15, on turnover of NT$97.74 billion (US$3.02 billion). The market opened up 0.67 percent as buying was sparked by a 0.84 percent increase on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a 0.87 percent rise on the S&P 500 index overnight after weaker-than- expected U.S. inflation data dampened the expectations that the Fed would raise interest rates later in the day, the dealers said. Buying accelerated, with large-cap financial stocks attracting bargain hunters, while petrochemical stocks got a boost from a strong rebound in international crude oil prices to push the index up past 8,400 points and maintain its strength until the end of the session, they said. "Fears over an immediate rate hike by the Fed have been assuaged a lot by the latest consumer price index report in Washington. With market sentiment improving, investors here rushed to pick up bargains throughout the session," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. In August, the CPI in the U.S. fell 0.1 percent, marking the first drop in seven months. The data prompted investors at home and abroad to feel relieved before the Fed wrapped up a two-day policymaking meeting later in the day, the dealers said. "If the Fed decides to leave its key interest rates unchanged Thursday, it could kick off a rate hike cycle in another meeting scheduled for December," Huang said. "During the vacuum between now and the December meeting, a rebound in equity shares is expected to continue, so investors appeared more willing to buy." Huang said that Thursday's turnover surpassed the average of the past 20 trading sessions, standing at around NT$94.5 billon and paving the way for a further upturn in the near future on the back of increasing willingness to trade. The financial sector closed up 2.37 percent, led by financial institutions with strong insurance operations, on hopes that stable global equity markets will boost their returns from securities investments. Among the gaining financial stocks, Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???), which owns Cathay Life Insurance Co. (????), rose 3.34 percent to close at NT$48.00, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???), which owns Fubon Life Insurance Co. (????), rose 3.75 percent to end at NT$55.30. In the petrochemical sector, which rose 2.84 percent, Formosa Plastics Corp. (??) gained 2.13 percent to close at NT$71.90, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (??) added 3.90 percent to end at NT$61.20. In the electronics sector, Hon Hai, an assembler of iPhones and iPads, rose 0.59 percent but underperformed the broader market before the new iPhones' sales data, to close at NT$85.50, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (???) rose 1.16 percent to end at NT$131.00. (By Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-21 22:38 GMT+08:00