Wed, Jan 01, 2020 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX ends year lower as investors pocket their gains

Staff writer, with CNA

An electronic display in Taipei yesterday shows the TAIEX closing at 11,997.14 points, down 56.23 points after the day’s trading.

Photo: CNA

The TAIEX yesterday closed slightly below 12,000 points on the last trading session of the year as investors continued to pocket their gains, dealers said.

Selling focused on large technology stocks led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), while buying moved to select market heavyweights in both the electronics and non-technology sectors, lending some support to the broader market, they said.

The TAIEX last year rose 2,269.73 points, or 23.33 percent, on the back of strong foreign institutional buying, which largely lifted blue-chip shares in the bellwether electronics sector.

The benchmark index yesterday closed down 56.23 points, or 0.47 percent, at 11,997.14 on turnover of NT$117.408 billion (US$3.9 billion), Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

The market opened down 0.28 percent in the wake of losses suffered overnight in the US, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.64 percent and the S&P 500 closed down 0.67 percent in light trading, with many traders away for the New Year holiday.

Selling featured large technology stocks, in particular TSMC, and that kept the TAIEX under the previous closing level for the rest of the session as investors continued to lock in their gains, pushing the index below 12,000 points by the end of the session.

“The US market movements on Monday provided little indication for the local equity market, since turnover was light ahead of the New Year holiday,” Mega International Investment Services Corp (兆豐國際投信) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said. “The TAIEX also moved in a quiet session today and turnover was thin. The electronics sector continued to dominate the broader market, as TSMC moved lower and the broader market fell accordingly.”

TSMC shares fell 1.05 percent to close at the day’s low of NT$331, which sent the bellwether electronics and semiconductor sub-indices down 0.59 percent and 0.96 percent respectively.

“After recent solid gains, TSMC has entered consolidation mode, but the stock is expected to find strong technical support as it moves closer to NT$328, which is very close to today’s closing level. The company has sound fundamentals,” Huang said.

Also in the technology sector, shares of iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) lost 0.11 percent to close at NT$90.8, while shares of IC designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) dropped 0.67 percent to close at NT$441.5.

Shares of Largan Precision Co (大立光), a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc, were bolstered by late-session buying and rose 0.7 percent to close at NT$5,000, while Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) shares added 0.11 percent to close at NT$43.7.

Meanwhile, shares of food conglomerate Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) fell 0.54 percent to close at NT$74.2, CTBC Financial Holding Co (中信金控) shares lost 0.44 percent to close at NT$22.4 and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) shares lost 0.1 percent to NT$97.5.

“The light turnover today showed cautious sentiment toward global trade, as many investors at home were watching closely when Washington and Beijing will sign their ‘phase one’ trade deal and what the content will be,” Huang said. “However, I still expect the equity market to become active in January after foreign institutional investors return to the trading floor after the holiday to rebuild their portfolios, as many of them remain upbeat about tech stocks, in particular in the semiconductor industry.”

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