Shares fell yesterday after modest declines on Wall Street overnight, with technology stocks leading the pack, traders said.
The TAIEX retreated 45.04 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,892.21 on dealings valued at NT$76.78 billion (US$2.25 billion).
Decliners outstripped gainers 393 to 262, while 166 stocks ended the session flat.
Sintek Photronic Corp (和鑫光電) dropped 3 percent to NT$16.3, on market talk that the company has accounting problems, although the company has denied the rumor.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) fell 2.7 percent to NT$43.7, while smaller peer United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) was off 1.4 percent at NT$21.
"Techs are the weakest spots today," said Derek Lam, head of trading at Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券). "Profit-taking in financial and construction plays also further hurt the market."
Financial stocks fell 1.1 percent. Among the biggest decliners, Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), which owns Taiwan's second largest credit-card issuer, fell 2.2 percent, while Shin Kong Financial Holdings Co (新光金控) lost 2.1 percent.
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the nation's largest and the world's No. 3 container shipper, rose 3.4 percent to NT$33.6 after a Chinese-language business daily reported the company aims to increase its net profit margin to 30 percent. Evergreen Marine may be able to reach the target by 2007, the paper said, citing an unidentified company official.
China Steel Corp (中鋼) continued its run-up on hopes that global demand for steel, especially for the higher-end products, will remain solid. The largest Taiwanese steel maker's shares were 1.5 percent higher at NT$35.