Taiwan shares edge lower amid U.S.-China trade friction

Taipei, Shares in Taiwan slid Friday, impacted by falling American stocks amid escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, dealers said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137.65 points, or 0.5 percent to 25,986.92 Thursday, while the S&P 500 index lost 12.91 points, or 0.4 percent to finish at 2,901.13, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 21.32 points, or 0.3 percent at 8,088.36 after earlier testing the intraday record of 8,133.30.

The falls came after four-days of increasing shares, following media reports that U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to press ahead with tariffs against US$200 billion worth of Chinese products.

On Friday, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended down 29.81 points, or 0.27 percent, at the day's high of 11,063.94 after moving to a low of 10,987.68 before rebounding. Turnover totaled NT$120.07 billion (US$3.91 billion).

The biggest falls were in the electronics and paper-making sectors, with contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, falling 2.85 percent to NT$256 per share.

Shares in smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. shed 0.84 percent at NT$4,705 per share, while iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. dropped 0.49 percent to NT$80.5.

Yuanta Investment Consulting senior vice president Katie Du (???) attributed the fall in Taiwan stocks to U.S.-China trade friction, rising trade disputes between the U.S. and European Union, and heavy currency devaluations in the emerging economies of Turkey and Argentina.

Du said although the EU offered zero tariffs on imported cars from the U.S. in exchange for reciprocal treatment, Trump rejected the offer saying European consumers do not like American cars while most Americans want to buy European automobiles.

Trump's position means the trade war between the U.S. and China is likely to spread to EU countries, Du said.

Trump's planned tariffs against US$200 billion worth of Chinese products are also likely to impact Taiwanese companies that run factories in China, she added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel