Shares show little change; while financials up on new trading rules
Shares in Taiwan closed little changed Friday amid lingering concerns over the debt problems in Greece as investors feared that global financial markets would reel back from possible negative leads from the ongoing debt talks in the eurozone, dealers said.
Against the doldrums in the broader market, the financial sector moved higher in the wake of a move by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, ) to remove the ceiling on the value of credit trading — margin trading and securities borrowing — as part of its efforts to boost activity in the local equity market, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 0.56 points, or 0.01 percent, at 9,301.93, after moving between 9,263.41 and 9,339.33, on turnover of NT$81.74 billion ( US$2.65 billion).
The market opened down 7.66 points and fell to the day’s low as investors locked in their gains posted in the previous two sessions, and with the index falling below 9,300 points, some bargain hunting emerged to push the market into positive territory before falling back at the close, the dealers said.
“It was a quiet session after the index fluctuated in a narrow range throughout the day,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said, referring to the turnover, which fell below NT$90 billion.
“Judging from the thin trading volume, I think that many investors were reluctant to jump into the market at a time when no solution has been hammered out for the debt problems in Greece,” Huang said.
A spokesman for the International Monetary Fund told reports that there were still “major differences” in the financial aid negotiations between debt-ridden Greece and its creditors.
Fears on Greece Debt
“The comments have raised fears over a default by Greece on its massive debt. Investors either kept their hands off the market or pocketed their gains when the index rose,” Huang said.
He said that the financial sector attracted bargain hunters after the FSC announced a day earlier that it will remove the cap on credit trading value from June 29. The financial sub-index ended up 0.55 percent, outperforming the broader market.
“The FSC announcement showed that the government is continuing its efforts to come up with positive leads for the equity market,” Huang said. “Although it remains to be seen whether the new rules will boost turnover, investor sentiment toward the financial sector has improved.”
Among the gaining financial stocks, Mega Financial Holding Co. ( ) gained 1.46 percent to close at NT$27.80 and E. Sun Financial Holding Co. ( ) rose 1.95 percent to end at NT$20.95.
The electronics sub-index closed up 0.11 percent, with large-cap stocks mixed. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. ( ), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 0.70 percent to close at NT$144.50, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. ( ), an iPhone and iPad assembler, fell 0.84 percent to end at NT$95.00.
In the old economy sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. ( ) shed 1.49 percent to close at NT$72.80 and food maker Uni- President Enterprises Corp. ( ) lost 1.14 percent to end at NT$52.20.
In addition to the Greece debt situation, “investors should watch closely the upcoming policy-making meeting scheduled by the U.S. Federal Reserve for next week to get more clues about changes in the Fed’s monetary measures,” Huang said.