Taiwan shares fell slightly yesterday, as technology heavyweights were driven down by declines in U.S. stocks overnight.
The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 3.58 points, or 0.05 percent, to 6,427.84.
"Wall Street's losses overnight weighed on market sentiment," said Stanley Chou, an analyst at Barits Investment Service.
The local technology subindex slipped 0.1 percent after gaining around 2.8 percent in the previous two sessions.
"Investors took their cues from Wall Street and pocketed gains on selected tech stocks," said Solomon Chang, a deputy manager at Yuanta Securities.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing closed 0.3 percent lower at NT$62.3. But United Microelectronics, the main board's most traded stock, gained 1.3 percent to NT$18.95 on foreign institutional demand.
The world's third-biggest flat panel maker by revenue, AU Optronics, finished 1.9 percent lower at NT$46.3, while smaller rival Chi Mei Optoelectronics slipped 0.2 percent to NT$41.2.
Despite yesterday's modest decline, analysts still expect the market to rise, as some companies typically buy their own shares as quarters draw to a close, they said.
The steel subindex was 1.2 percent higher on rotational buying, Barits' Chou said.
Shares in China Steel, Taiwan's largest steel maker by revenue, rose 1.1 percent to NT$23.95.
There were 549 decliners, 453 gainers, and 203 issues closed unchanged.
The tourism sector was down 1.38 percent, financial down 0.38 percent and electronics down 0.12 percent.
Wistron Corp. declined after Acer Inc., the world's fourth-biggest supplier of personal computers, said it plans to sell as many as 100 million Wistron shares.
Acer fell on concerns the company's plan to sell investments to boost profit in 2006 is reflecting weakness in its business.
"Acer's big stake selling plan raised questions about the strength of its core business," said Phil Chen, who manages the US$45 million Grand Cathay Hi Tech Fund in Taipei.
Acer yesterday forecast a profit of NT$10 billion (US$301 million) for 2006. It approved plans to sell shares in Wistron and 11,844,732 shares in Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. worth NT$6.4 billion combined. Acer posted NT$6.4 billion profit in the first nine months of this year.
"Profit in 2006 will be boosted by investment gains, but the forecast is conservative," Acer spokesman Henry Wang said in an interview.
Wistron, a computer-making spinoff of Acer, declined NT$1.40, or 3.2 percent, to NT$41.95. Acer fell NT$1.90, or 2.2 percent, to NT$83.50. Hon Hai, Taiwan's largest electronics company by sales, rose NT$1.50, or 0.9 percent, to NT$179.