Taiwan shares end low, at 9,571.97
Shares in Taiwan trended lower Wednesday as the bellwether electronics sector faced downward pressure, with investors locking in gains they had built in recent sessions, dealers said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ) led the downturn in the high-tech sector as investors were waiting for the release of the world’s largest chip maker’s sales report for March, the dealers said.
In addition to sales reports from local electronics firms due later this week, investors remained cautious about the upcoming earnings season on Wall Street, which could move the U.S. market and send ripples through the global markets, including Taiwan, they said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) closed down 69.93 points, or 0.72 percent, at 9,571.97, after moving between 9,562.00 and 9,654.67 on turnover of NT$91.99 billion (US$2.97 billion).
The market opened up 0.98 points and rose to the day’s high on follow-through buying from a session earlier, but with the index mov- ing closer to the 9,700 point level, selling set in, focusing on the electronics sector, which pushed down the broader market into negative territory. The weakness continued into the end of the session, the dealers said.
Selling in High-tech Sector
“Selling in the high-tech sector turned heavier in the late session as investors appeared wary of sales reports already due,” Mega International Investment Services Corp. Alex Huang said.
“Market attention also shifted to TSMC, which is scheduled to release its March sales Friday, for a clue about the chip maker’s performance for the first quarter of this year, a slow season for the global semiconductor industry,” Huang said.
TSMC, the most heavily weighed stock in the local market, fell 2.05 percent to close at NT$143.00. The chip maker has forecast that its consolidated sales will range between NT$221 billion and NT$224 billion, little changed from the NT$222.52 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of last year.
Among other falling high-tech stocks, smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (
) lost 2.18 percent to close at NT$2,695.00 and contract notebook computer maker Quanta Computer Inc. ( ) shed 1.74 percent to end at NT$73.60. But Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. ( ), an iPhone and iPad assembler, bucked the downturn, closing up 0.11 percent at NT$93.70.
“Judging from the selling suffered by these electronics blue chips, I suspect that foreign institutional investors were standing on the sell side as they continued to pocket their earlier gains,” Huang said.
According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$6.59 billion-worth of local shares on the main board Wednesday.
Old Economic Sector
Certain old economy stocks outperformed the broader market, in particular petrochemical stocks, which witnessed international crude oil prices staging a rebound overnight.
Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corp. ( ) rose 1.64 percent to close at NT$74.40 and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. ( ) added 2.13 percent to end at NT$72.00.
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) speaks at a press event for a proposed commercial district in Taipei, yesterday. Tentatively named “Greater Bade Commercial District” ( ), the venture currently includes Huashan 1914 Creative Park ( 1914 ), National Taipei University of Technology ( ) and Hon Hai affiliate SynTrend Creative Co. ( ). Ko said the Taipei City Government envisions the district as one-stop center for the innovation and sales of information technology and 3C products.