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Taiwan shares soar, up more than 200 points

Taiwan shares soar, up more than 200 points

Following its recent doldrums, Taiwan shares soared by more than 200 points the Monday session as the bellwether electronics staged a strong technical rebound led by semiconductor and "Apple concept stocks", dealers said.

"The local main board had been depressed in recent sessions due to foreign institutional selling and worries over cross-Taiwan Strait ties ahead of a power transition on May 20," Hua Nan Securities analyst Henry Miao said.

"Now, investors simply seized on a strong showing made by semiconductor stocks on Wall Street at the end of last week and an upbeat mood about a possible improvement in shipments of the next-generation iPhones to hunt bargains today," Miao said.

As of 12:45 p.m., the weighted index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange had risen 216.54 points, or 2.66 percent, to 8,347.80 on turnover of NT$75.28 billion (US$2.31 billion).

The semiconductor sub-index had added 3.70 percent at 112.38 points and the bellwether electronics sector had gained 3.28 percent to reach 331.71 points.

Leading the high-tech sector to move sharply higher, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, had risen 3.70 percent to NT$154.00 with 38.26 million shares changing hands after the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index soared 3.16 percent on Wall Street Friday.

The solid gains posted by U.S. integrated circuit stocks came after U.S.-based Applied Materials, an IC production equipment supplier, reported better than expected fiscal second-quarter results and guidance for the current quarter.

"TSMC and other major chip makers are Applied Materials' customers. The higher than expected guidance given by Applied Materials showed that IC suppliers are expanding production, a good sign to the global semiconductor sector," Miao said. "It was no surprise that investors rushed to pick up TSMC and other Taiwanese IC stocks today."

Among other semiconductor stocks on the local main board, IC packaging and testing services suppliers Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (日月光) had gained 8.62 percent to NT$31.50, and Siliconware Precision Industries Co. (矽品) had added 5.49 percent to NT$49.00 as of 12: 45 p.m.

"Moreover, Apple concept stocks also bounced back today on the back of rising optimism toward the next iPhone models," which could be unveiled in the third quarter of this year, Miao said.

The strong buying in the local firms in the Apple supply chain came after local media citied market sources as saying Monday that the U.S. consumer electronics giant has requested its suppliers to prepare for production of up to 78 million units of the new iPhone by the end of this year.

Among the Apple concept stocks, smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. (大立光) had risen 3.40 percent to NT$2,735.00, and metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co. (可成) had gained 9.74 percent to NT$253.50 as of 12:45 p.m.

"Despite the current upturn, it is hard to say whether such an uptrend will continue as there remains uncertainty over the ties across the Taiwan Strait after the new government was sworn in last week," Miao said.

Miao said that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did not mention the 1992 consensus China wanted to hear in her inaugural speech on Friday so there are fears that exchanges across the Taiwan Strait may be interrupted in the future.

(By Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-04-23 20:34 GMT+08:00