The TAIEX yesterday rose 2.1 percent to close at 13,551.83, a record high, despite Taiwan not being included in a regional trade deal signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations on Sunday.
It was the first time the benchmark index surpassed 13,500 points, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
Turnover was NT$234.691 billion (US$8.15 billion), slightly up from last week’s average of NT$225 billion, while foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$22.87 billion of shares, the data showed.
Other Asian markets also advanced after the 15 nations signed the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Local shares rose, as they are sensitive to US markets, which rallied on Friday last week, Hua Nan Securities Investment Management Co (華南投顧) chairman David Chu (儲祥生) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
“Taiwan will actually be hurt by the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership on Sunday, as we are not included in the trade agreement, whereas major countries including China, Japan and South Korea are. However, that the TAIEX did not fall indicated that investors did not mind,” Chu said.
A reduction in trade barriers between the 15 RCEP members would not be implemented immediately and it therefore does not pose a short-term threat to Taiwan’s economy, he said.
The growth of the nation’s economy, especially the strength of the local technology sector, also helped relieve some of the anxiety, he added.
As the local stock market is sensitive to Wall Street, the TAIEX’s rise reflected the latest gains in New York, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4 percent on Friday last week, Chu said.
“I was not surprised at all to see a bull market... To put it simply, there is too much money in the system due to easing monetary and fiscal policies worldwide. The question is when the winning streak will end,” he said.
Almost all of the subindices rose, except for the food, textile and rubber sectors, while the electronics, semiconductor and financial sectors reported the largest increases, the data showed.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the TAIEX, rose 4.76 percent to close at a new high of NT$484 and a record capitalization of NT$12.55 trillion.
“Thanks to TSMC, the TAIEX steamed ahead today,” Mega International Investment Services Corp (兆豐國際投顧) analyst Alex Huang (黃國偉) said. “I suspect buying largely came from foreign institutional investors, as they simply boosted the spot market to profit in futures.”
November futures contracts are scheduled to be settled tomorrow, so it was no surprise that foreign institutional investors, who are holding a large number of positive futures contracts, scrambled to buy in the spot market, Huang said.
“Further rises are possible until Wednesday, the futures settlement date, but after that I expect the TAIEX to fall into consolidation mode for some time,” he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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