Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Asian shares dip amid profit-taking

YEAR-END TRADING:The last day of Japan’s fiscal year prompted investors to sell and close their positions, causing the TOPIX to fall 1 percent to 1,512.6 on Friday

Staff writer, with agencies

Local shares on Friday edged lower after a selling spree, although the weighted index remained above the 9,800-point mark, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed down 36.63 points, or 0.37 percent, at 9,811.52, on turnover of NT$100.56 billion (US$3.31 billion). That compared with a close of 9,902.98 a week earlier.

Trading was mixed in old-economy sectors, with the subindex for glass manufacturing seeing the strongest surge of 2.16 percent among subindex industries. The textile subindex had the weakest performance with a fall of 1.02 percent.

Among large-cap electronics stocks, shares in Largan Precision Co (大立光), which supplies smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc, rose 1.92 percent to close at NT$4,780, while contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the most heavily weighted stock on the market, fell 1.31 percent to end at NT$189.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker and assembler of iPhones and iPads, lost 0.44 percent to close at NT$91, while IC packaging and testing services firm Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體) shed 2.39 percent to close at NT$38.75.

The electronics subindex fell 0.53 percent, while the financial sector was also weak, with a fall of 0.34 percent.

Across the rest of Asia, stocks fell as investors took profits amid the strongest quarter for the region’s equity markets in five years.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.9 percent as of 4:30pm in Hong Kong, as about two stocks declined for each that advanced. All 11 industry groups slid, led by healthcare and consumer staples companies.

The gauge is still set to gain about 8.7 percent this quarter, after US data on Thursday showed GDP grew faster in the fourth quarter of last year than previously reported on higher consumer spending.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said he would not rule out more than three hikes for this year.

“Markets have generally priced in three US rate increases this year, anything more than that will start a round of portfolio adjustments,” said Raul Joseph de Guzman, who helps manage about US$1.19 billion as a trader at Security Bank Corp in Makati, Philippines. “Some investors are also probably realigning, taking profit given that it’s the quarter-end and there’s been a sharp run-up.”

The TOPIX erased gains for this year on the last trading day of Japan’s fiscal year.

Japan’s TOPIX fell 1 percent to close at 1,512.6 on Friday, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 0.8 percent. That compared with a close of 1,543.92 a week earlier.

Data showed Japan’s consumer prices rose slightly for a second month in February, while the jobless rate dropped to the lowest level since 1994.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co fell 2.2 percent in Tokyo, the biggest drag on the gauge for Asian consumer staples companies, which slid 1.2 percent.

“It’s the end of the fiscal year and ahead of the weekend, making investors inclined to sell and close off their positions,” Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co chief strategist Kiyoshi Ishigane said. “The supply and demand for Japan’s equity market isn’t great either with foreigners being sellers for the month, leaving the market devoid of buyers.”

Shanghai stocks on Friday snapped a four-session losing streak, but still posted their biggest weekly loss since mid-December last year as concerns over tighter liquidity and curbs on property investment dampened investors’ risk appetite.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top