The TAIEX plunged again yesterday after the WHO upgraded the status of the COVID-19 outbreak to a pandemic, ending 471.43 points lower, or 4.33 percent, to close at 10,422.32.
Turnover totaled NT$270.063 billion (US$8.96 billion), with 103.778 million shares changing hands.
Following a 5.8 percent fall on the Dow Jones Industrial Average the previous night after the US barred travel from Europe, the TAIEX opened down 48.36 points.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
When selling set in later, the index at one point plummeted by more than 500 points due to a loss of investor confidence.
During the session, 60 stocks fell by the daily maximum of 10 percent, triggering heavy selling pressure, especially on high-tech shares — the bourse’s mainstay.
Heavyweight electronics firms all suffered heavy losses, with Largan Precision Co (大立光), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Taiwan Semicondcutor Manufacturing Co (台積電) dropping 9.24 percent, 4.96 percent and 2.65 percent respectively.
With the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly worsening in the US and Europe, global stock markets have been overcome by a growing panic.
As a result, the domestic market might continue to sink in the short-term, testing 10,000 points, analysts said.
Amid weak investor confidence, the TAIEX has dropped by more than 900 points this week, suggesting that even a technical rebound in the short-term would not help recover the losses, unless there are signs that the pandemic is easing, they said.
As the short-term outlook for the local bourse remains pessimistic due to the turmoil in global markets, in particular the US market, it is likely that the domestic market would soon see the TAIEX fall below 10,000 points, they added.
Deputy Minister of Finance Frank Juan (阮清華), the executive secretary of the National Stabilization Fund, tried to calm investors, saying that the fundamentals of the local bourse remain healthy and that authorities are keeping a close eye on developments.
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