The TAIEX closed lower yesterday, as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) came under pressure, falling more than 3 percent because investors pocketed gains built up in recent trading sessions, dealers said.
The financial sector outperformed the broader market, rising more than 0.5 percent on expectations that the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates later this year, which would boost returns on financial institutions’ overseas investments, they said.
The TAIEX closed down 146.8 points, or 0.79 percent, at the day’s low of 18,378.64. Turnover totaled NT$261.862 billion (US$9.48 billion), with foreign institutional investors selling a net NT$6.86 billion of shares on the main board, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
TSMC closed 3.07 percent lower at NT$662 after a 1.64 percent increase on Monday, when it reached a record intraday high for the company of NT$688.
The stock had on Monday risen 15 percent since closing at NT$597 on Dec. 21 last year.
The electronics index and semiconductor subindex were brought down by TSMC, finishing 1.36 percent and 2.29 percent lower respectively.
“The selling resulted from concerns over a spike in the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield, which has made tech stocks appear less attractive, and TSMC was simply one of them,” Concord Securities Co (康和證券) analyst Kerry Huang (黃志祺) said.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose 6 basis points to reach 1.855 percent overnight, reflecting expectations of a rate hike by the Fed.
Selling spread to other semiconductor stocks. United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) fell 0.78 percent to close at NT$63.8, while smartphone chip designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) closed 0.9 percent lower at NT$1,105.
The financial sector as a whole rose 0.53 percent, with China Development Financial Holding Co (中華開發金控) closing 1.06 percent higher at NT$19.1 and SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) gaining 2.40 percent to end the day at NT$17.1.
“Financial institutions could see their bottom lines benefit from higher interest rates, so there is room for their share prices to go higher,” Huang said.
Elsewhere, select petrochemical stocks moved up as crude oil prices rose overnight, with Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) gaining 0.72 percent to close at NT$98 and Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) rising 0.47 percent to NT$106.5.
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