Shares in Taiwan closed lower Monday on lower turnover and a downturn among large cap semiconductor stocks amid fears of a pullback after recent gains, though the losses were limited by rebounds in non-technology stocks, dealers said.
The Taiex, the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s benchmark weighted index, ended down 55.60 points, or 0.38 percent, at 14,449.39 after moving between 14,421.65 and 14,530.76. Turnover totaled NT$177.03 billion (US$5.67 billion).
The market opened up 9.72 points and moved to the day’s high before 10 a.m. as semiconductor stocks continued to rise, but profit-taking then set in to erode those early gains by the end of the session, dealers said.
Monday’s turnover was down from the NT$239.43 billion in turnover on Friday.
“Look at the lower turnover today. Investors took to the sidelines because of worries over a major technical pullback, in particular in the semiconductor industry, which had been driving the market’s recent upturn,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.
“Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) fell victim to today’s selling as the stock was moving closer to the nearest level of technical resistance at NT$500 after a recent rally,” Huang said.
“But I have to say that TSMC’s long term prospects remain sound despite short-term market uncertainty.”
TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, lost 1.03 percent to close at NT$482.00 after soaring 10.31 percent last week on news that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had bought more than US$4.1 billion in TSMC’s American depositary receipts (ADRs) as of the end of September.
That came after a 15.6 percent rise in the stock from Nov. 7 to 11.
Pulled down by TSMC on Monday, the electronics sector lost 0.77 percent, and the semiconductor sub-index ended down 0.96 percent.
Other tech stocks
Among other semiconductor stocks, DRAM maker Nanya Technology Corp. shed 3.79 percent to end at NT$58.40, and IC packaging and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co. lost 0.74 percent to close at NT$94.20.
Smartphone IC designer MediaTek Inc. dropped 0.28 percent to end at NT$720.00.
Bucking the downturn, United Microelectronics Corp., a smaller contract chipmaker, rose 0.11 percent to close at NT$45.65, and application-specific integrated circuit designer Alchip Technologies Ltd. gained 1.71 percent to end at NT$890.00.
Also in the electronics sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. lost 0.50 percent to close at NT$100.00, while PC brand Asustek Computer Inc. gained 0.78 percent to end at NT$258.00.
Steel, textile sectors
While the electronics sector ended lower, “the old economy sector appeared mixed but some buying rotated to select stocks in the steel sector due to their relatively low valuations,” Huang said.
In the steel sector, which rose 1.55 percent, Taiwan’s largest steel maker China Steel Corp. rose 2.11 percent to close at 29.00, and rival Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp. added 0.78 percent to end at NT$51.80.
Elsewhere, textile brand Far Eastern New Century Corp. shed 2.39 percent to close at NT$30.60, and Eclat Textile Co. dropped 0.68 percent to end at NT$435.50.
In addition, Formosa Plastics Corp. lost 0.34 percent to close at NT$88.00, while Nan Ya Plastics Corp. rose 0.96 percent to end at NT$73.90.
Biotech, financial firms
Rotational buying also benefited the biotech industry, which rose 2.99 percent, Huang said.
Among the gaining biotech stocks, medical equipment supplier Maxigen Biotech Inc. rose 3.96 percent to close at NT$42.05, and test kit vendor Panion & BF Biotech Inc. closed 1.72 percent higher at NT$177.00.
The financial sector rose 0.45 percent, with Cathay Financial Holding Co. closing 0.48 percent higher at NT$42.10, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. finishing 0.36 percent higher at NT$55.50.
“Judging from today’s movement, I think the Taiex saw high technical hurdles ahead of 14,504 points, the 120-day moving average,” Huang said.
“In addition to the technical factors, concerns over an ongoing rate hike cycle by the U.S. Federal Reserve and COVID-19 lockdowns in China are expected to continue to dictate market sentiment.”
According to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$1.77 billion in shares on the market Monday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel