Taiwan shares end slightly up on late session buying

Taipei, Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher on Monday as the market recouped its earlier losses on the back of late session buying which focused on select large cap stocks across the board, dealers said.

Despite the gains, turnover remained moderate as many investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a two-day policymaking meeting scheduled by the U.S. Federal Reserve to start on Tuesday, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 19.20 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,046.90, after moving between 10,983.25 and 11,066.00, on turnover of NT$110.67 billion (US$3.79 billion).

The market opened down 0.21 percent on a mild correction from the previous session as investors ignored a higher Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.29 percent and the S&P 500 index ended up 0.17 percent on Friday, dealers said.

The local main board continued in consolidation mode for the rest of the session before bargain hunting emerged in the late session to boost certain market heavyweights, including contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., pushing the broader market into positive territory and closing above 11,000 points at the end of the session, they said.

"While the Dow ended higher on Friday, it was still consolidating with gains limited," Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said. "Sentiment in the global market is haunted by the upcoming Fed policymaking meeting and Taiwan was no exception today."

Su said while the market widely expects the Fed to raise its key interest rates at the meeting, investors have been focussed on its comments on the economy, in particular on inflation, to get a clearer picture about how it will adjust policy after the meeting.

"Along with other large cap stocks, TSMC recovered from its earlier losses, helping the main board end above the previous closing level, but the gains were not significant on moderate trading volume," Su said.

Shares in TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, closed unchanged at NT$255.00, off an early low of NT$251.00, with 24.42 million shares changing hands.

Also in the bellwether electronics sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market value, rose 0.11 percent to end at NT$92.90 after hitting NT$92.40, while Largan Precision Co., a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., added 0.54 percent to close at NT$3,710.00, off an early low of NT$3,655.00.

Su said buying in tech heavyweights was not strong enough to enable the broader market to make a breakthrough, while investors shifted their attention to old economy and financial stocks in the session, helping those stocks outperform the broader market on the back of their relatively low valuations.

Among the gaining non-high tech stocks, China Steel Corp., the largest steel maker in the local market, rose 0.84 percent to close at NT$23.90, and Formosa Plastics Corp. added 0.98 percent to end at NT$103.00.

In addition, shares in E. Sun Financial Holding Co. rose 1.55 percent to close at NT$19.60 on the back of its strong consumer banking operations, Su said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$2.28 billion worth of shares on the main board Monday after net buying of NT$1.56 billion a session earlier.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel