Taiwan shares breach 9,200 points in morning session

Taiwan shares breached 9,200 points Wednesday morning, extending the gains from the two previous sessions as worry eased over an immediate rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, dealers said.

Driven by aggressive buying mostly by foreign institutional investors, market capitalization of the local main board hit NT$27.29 trillion (US$872 million) at one point, the highest in more than a year.

As of 11:09 a.m., the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange had risen 68.66 points, or 0.75 percent, to 9,250.51 after coming off an early high of 9,257.54, on turnover of NT$49.54 billion. The current gains pushed the weighted index to its highest level in 14 months.

Soon after trade opened, the local equity market picked up steam, led by large-cap stocks in the electronics and financial sectors as investors were encouraged by a large chunk of long position contacts held by foreign institutional investors in the local futures market, dealers said.

So far this week, the weighted index has gained almost 3 percent, pushing the market cap about NT$796 billion higher to NT$27.29 trillion. Based on the gains in market cap, 9.6 million equity investors in Taiwan have earned about NT$84,000 on average in just three trading sessions this week.

Dealers said the Wednesday morning buying was largely by foreign institutional investors amid eased concerns over a rate hike by the Fed since the U.S.' release last Friday of worse than expected non-farm payroll data for August, which is expected to serve as one of the major barometers in the Fed's monetary policy decisions at its next meeting Sept. 20-21.

On Tuesday, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$9.42 billion worth of shares on the local main board after a net buy of NT$8.17 billion on Monday.

On Wednesday, the bellwether electronics sector had added 0.98 percent as of 11:09 a.m., with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, up 2.23 percent at NT$183.00.

Also in the high-tech sector, Largan Precision Co. (???), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc. had climbed 1.37 percent to NT$3,700.00, ahead of the expected release of new iPhone models later in the day.

The strong gains in the electronics sector came after the tech-heavy NASDAQ index hit a record high overnight, dealers said.

In the financial sector, which had gained 0.49 percent, Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) had risen 0.43 percent to NT$46.20, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) was up 0.74 percent at NT$40.75 as of 11: 09 a.m.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel