The TAIEX yesterday closed at a 17-year high, with the bellwether electronics sector continuing its momentum as local investors took their cue from record highs posted by three major US indices, dealers said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) led the electronics sector higher after its shares rose to record levels, boosting market capitalization on the back of foreign institutional buying, they said.
However, market turnover remained moderate, with many investors remaining on the sidelines, waiting for the release of US jobs data later in the day, they added.
The TAIEX closed up 65.11 points, or 0.65 percent, to end at the day’s high of 10,152.53, off a low of 10,117.06, on turnover of NT$86.29 billion (US$2.87 billion).
It was the highest close since April 5, 2000, when the index ended at 10,186.17 points.
The local market opened up 0.3 percent, buoyed by the Wall Street rally, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ hitting record highs in anticipation of a better-than-expected payroll jobs report, dealers said.
The momentum accelerated, propelled by “Apple-concept stocks,” including TSMC, amid hopes that the US firm’s next generation iPhone, which is scheduled to hit the market in the second half of this year, would boost bottom lines, they said.
“Due to the gains posted by Wall Street, foreign investors developed an appetite to take more risk outside the US market. I think foreign institutional investors remained on the buy side today [yesterday], picking up large-cap stocks,” Ta Ching Securities Co (大慶證券) analyst Andy Hsu (許博傑) said.
Foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$4.28 billion worth of shares on the main board yesterday after net purchases of NT$2.57 billion on Thursday, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
“The main board is on an upswing and looks ready to challenge the nearest technical resistance at about 10,200 points,” Hsu said.
“Foreign investors might continue to pump funds into the region, driving local shares higher,” he added.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and believed to be the supplier of the A11 processor for the iPhone, advanced 0.97 percent to close at NT$209, with 22.57 million shares changing hands.
The increase lifted TSMC’s market cap to a record NT$5.41 trillion, the biggest among local listed companies.
Other advancers in the electronics sector, which ended up 0.88 percent, included Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), an assembler of iPhones and iPads, which climbed 0.96 percent to close at NT$105.50.
Largan Precision Co (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, added 2.76 percent to end at NT$4,845, remaining the most expensive stock in Taiwan.
Buying spread to old economy stocks, with Eclat Textile Co (儒鴻) rising 3.99 percent to close at NT$326 and Asia Cement Corp (亞泥) climbing 1.09 percent to end at NT$27.75.
In the financial sector, Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控) rose 0.62 percent to close at NT$24.40.
“Turnover remained moderate today [yesterday] amid caution over the upcoming non-farm payroll data in Washington. The jobs data will serve as a good indication of the US economy’s performance and a possible rate hike by the [US] Federal Reserve” at the next policymaking meeting in the middle of this month, Hsu said.
The local equity market will open today to make up for a lost trading session during the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday late last month.
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