Taiwan shares close 1.1 percent lower to below annual average

Taipei, Shares in Taiwan tumbled for a third straight session on Tuesday because of weakness in electronics stocks to close at their lowest level in more than two months.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange’s benchmark index, the Taiex, closed down 117.63 points, or 1.1 percent, at 10,579.50 on turnover of NT$158.37 billion (US$5.35 billion).

It was the Taiex’s lowest close since ending at 10,421.09 on Feb. 12, and it finished below the annual moving average of 10,583.92.

Electronics shares, which accounted for about two-thirds of the market’s turnover on Tuesday, fell 1.38 percent, as the sector continued to feel the pinch of weak Apple sales.

One of the biggest losers was iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which plummeted 2.89 percent to close at NT$80.60. The stock is down 12 percent since ending at NT$91.40 on March 30.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan and a key supplier of chips for Apple’s iPhones, was more resilient, gaining 0.22 percent to close at NT$227.

But Apple smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. finished 1.08 percent lower at NT$3,220.

Financial shares were far more stable, edging lower by 0.08 percent.

Overall, losers outnumbered gainers 747 to 106, with 61 remaining unchanged.

Foreign investors continued their sell-off Tuesday, selling a net NT$7.78 billion in shares after a net sell of NT$33 billion in shares the previous two sessions, which pushed down the Taiwan dollar’s value relative to the U.S. dollar.

Senior stock analyst Lin Cheng-yin (???) was still optimistic about the market’s prospects, saying the general economic fundamentals remained promising, but he cautioned that the overall market and various sectors were undergoing adjustments.

Lin said the electronics sector was the driver of growth in recent months but that it was losing steam, especially with foreign investors pulling their funds out of Taiwan to invest in markets they felt have better growth prospects, including in South Korea, China and India.

Lin suggested that investors pay close attention to such indicators as when the fall in electronics stocks comes to an end, when selling by foreign investors eases, and when the Taiwan dollar’s depreciation ends when considering investing in the market.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel