Taiwan shares end higher on conglomerate stock gains

Taiwan shares end higher on conglomerate stock gains

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed higher Thursday, the last trading session of the year, as last-minute buying in conglomerate stocks lent support to the broader market, dealers said.

The buying focused on the financial sector, which has been a market laggard, and on semiconductor stocks, but the trading volume remained low as many foreign investors were still away for the holiday season, dealers said. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 58.07 points, or 0.70 percent, at 8,338.06, after moving between 8,258.73 and 8,338.06.

Turnover totaled NT$47.88 billion (US$1.46 billion) during the session. The market opened down 6.22 points in the wake of Wall Street losses overnight due by a weak global oil market. The local index then moved in see-saw trade until buying emerged late in the session, pushing the main board into positive territory by the end, dealers said.

"The last-minute buying lifted today's trading volume by about NT$8 billion," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "Without that buying, turnover would have been even lower in the absence of many foreign institutional investors."

"The late buying put several conglomerate stocks in the spotlight as business groups tried hard to boost their share prices in a bid to dress up their books at the end of the year," Huang said.

Among the conglomerate stocks, Formosa Plastics Corp. rose 4.8 percent to close at NT$77.00, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. gained 3.4 percent to end at NT$61.00. Both companies are under the corporate umbrella of Formosa Plastics Group.

Driven by the conglomerate buying, Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 6.9 percent to close at NT$46.30, recovering from an early low of NT$42.65. The electronics sector closed up 0.33 percent and the semiconductor sub-index ended up 0.42 percent, led by integrated circuit heavyweights such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., which benefited from a tender offer to increase its stake in Siliconware Precision Industries Co. from 25 percent to 49.71 percent.

ASE rose 2.3 percent to close at NT$38.00, and Siliconware added 1.0 percent to end at NT$52.30. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, gained 0.4 percent to close at NT$143.00. "Although TSMC did not make a strong showing today, its mild gains stabilized the broader market before the last-minute buying emerged," Huang said.

"Investors have high hopes that the IC industry will receive rush orders in the first quarter of next year."

Fubon Financial Holding Co., however, fell 3.0 percent to close at NT$45.00 after its subsidiary Fubon Life Insurance Co. incurred about NT$5.5 billion in losses from investments in Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd.

"Due to the thin turnover, the local equity market remained in consolidation mode," Huang said. "It was no surprise that the index failed to challenge 8,400 points today." (By Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-04-13 03:30 GMT+08:00