Taiwan shares end above 9,900 points on technical rebound

Taipei, Taiwan shares moved higher to close above the 9,900-point mark Wednesday as the bellwether electronics sector staged a technical rebound, dealers said.

Bargain hunting in the old economy and financial sectors also helped the broader market stay above the previous closing level most of the trading session, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, ended up 83.40 points, or 0.85 percent, at 9,908.35 after moving between 9,817.95 and 9,912.53. Turnover was NT$116.29 billion (US$3.79 billion).

The market opened down 6.80 points on follow-through selling from Tuesday, when the Taiex closed down 0.66 percent, but buying set in later in the morning as "Apple concept stocks" attracted bargain hunters, dealers said.

Buying also spread to the non-tech sector, with cement, textile and financial stocks the beneficiaries, helping the broader market surpass 9,900 points and stay there for the rest of the session, they said.

"Investors appeared more willing to hunt bargains once it was clear the Democrats would take the House of Representatives and the Republicans would retain the Senate in the U.S. mid-term elections, as the market anticipated," Ta Ching Securities analyst Jerry Chen said.

"The result eased the market's anxiety over potential political uncertainty, the last thing the market wanted to see," Chen said.

The bellwether electronics sector led the upturn of the broader market, gaining 1.00 percent as Taiwanese suppliers, which had been hammered by worries over new iPhone sales, rebounded, Chen said.

Among them, Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., rose 1.86 percent to close at NT$3,280.00 after a 6.26 percent plunge on Tuesday, and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. rose 0.78 percent to end at NT$77.90 after a decline of 3.28 percent a day earlier.

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp. soared 10 percent, the daily maximum increase, to close at NT$37.15 after the company reported a day earlier that its October consolidated sales rose 4.14 percent from a month earlier, stopping five consecutive months of declines.

Bucking the gains on the broader market, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.21 percent to end at NT$234.00.

In the financial sector, which closed up 1.08 percent, CTBC Financial Holding Co. rose 1.20 percent to end at NT$21.00, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained 1.42 percent to close at NT$50.10.

"Financial stocks are more likely to move higher because the sector is the favorite of government-led funds, which may try to prop up the Taiex to help the government win more votes in Taiwan's local elections later this month," Chen said.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, Asia Cement Corp. rose 4.01 percent to close at NT$33.70, and textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp. grew 1.78 percent to end at NT$31.45.

"Today's gains to push up the Taiex above 9,900 points showed the market taking a breather and turning stable," Chen said. "Further gains are possible but stiff technical resistance remains ahead of the psychologically important 10,000-point level."

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$5.75 billion in shares on the market Wednesday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel