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Taiwan shares end up in thin trading

Taiwan shares end up in thin trading

Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher on Wednesday but the gains were limited by low turnover as many foreign institutional investors were away for the Christmas holiday, dealers said.

The low turnover meant that trading in heavyweights in the bellwether high-tech sector, such as contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co., remained slow. The financial sector moved higher, however, on bargain hunting, they said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 22.96 points, or 0.28 percent, at 8,315.70, after moving between 8,296.58 and 8,359.25, on turnover of NT$74.07 billion (US$2.26 billion).

The market opened up 3.84 points and quickly rose to the day's high as buying was encouraged by a nearly 1 percent rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight on the back of stable international crude oil prices, dealers said. As the index moved toward the 8,400-point mark, however, some selling emerged to cap the upturn by the end of the session, they said.

"Look at the thin turnover. I think the absence of many foreign institutional investors during the Christmas season was why there was such low turnover and the session was so quiet," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said.

According to Huang, foreign institutional investors account for 20 to 30 percent of Taiwan's daily turnover in a normal session.

Huang said the thin turnover led to the stagnation of several large-cap stocks, which normally serve as indicators of the broader market, referring to stocks in the electronics sector. As a result, the electronics sub-index closed up only 0.1 percent.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.4 percent to close at NT$141.50, while Largan lost 3.9 percent to end at NT$2,230.00 but remained the most expensive stock in Taiwan.

Other stocks were boosted by bargain hunting, including contract notebook computer maker Inventec Corp., which gained 6.8 percent to close at NT$22.05, and PC brand Acer Inc., which added 2.5 percent to end at NT$12.30, Huang said.

"Bargain hunters were also active in picking up financial stocks today. But the latest gains did not mean fundamentals in the sector have changed. Financial stocks have lagged behind the broader market for some time," Huang said.

In the financial sector, which closed up 0.66 percent, Mega Financial Holding Co.rose 1.2 percent to end at NT$21.50, and CTBC Financial Holding Co. gained 1.5 percent to close at NT$16.90.

"Technical resistance remains strong in the 8,300 to 8,400 range. Without an increase in turnover, it will be hard for the index to overcome the technical barriers in the short term," Huang said. (By Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-09-25 23:55 GMT+08:00