Taipei--The market capitalization of contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) hit a record high for the company and Taiwan's stock market on Tuesday on a strong showing in tech stocks in the United States overnight.
As of 12:07 a.m., shares of TSMC, the world's largest pure wafer foundry operator, had gained 1.03 percent to NT$196.50, off an early high of NT$199.00, with 34.93 million shares changing hands.
At the stock's high point, TSMC's market capitalization reached NT$5.16 trillion (US$172 billion), breaking its own record for any company ever listed on the Taiwan stock exchange.
TSMC's strong showing largely resulted from foreign institutional buying as foreign investors rushed to move funds into Taiwan's market, which also pushed the Taiwan dollar through the NT$30 to the U.S. dollar barrier, dealers said.
Despite some selling to cap TSMC's gains, the stock's price was still above its record closing high of NT$195 seen on March 21.
Led by TSMC's gains and the entire bellwether electronics sector, the main board stood above the 9,900-point level with the weighted index hitting 9,940.39, up 0.69 percent as of 12:07 p.m. The electronics sub-index was up 0.82 percent at 411.44.
"Investors here were largely encouraged by the all-time high hit by the tech-heavy Nasdaq index overnight, and they scrambled to pick up large cap stocks, like TSMC, soon after the local market opened today," Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy Hsu said.
Hsu said buying in TSMC was also sparked by the strength of its American depositary receipts, which gained 1 percent on Wall Street overnight.
The analyst said investors are aware that TSMC as well as the entire semiconductor industry will be affected by the traditionally slow second quarter but expect the contract chip maker to bounce back in the third quarter as the industry's peak season approaches.
"Those expectations have not changed at all," Hsu said.
"The buying reflected strong liquidity in the local market as foreign investors continued to remit funds into the region instead of any change in fundamentals. The gains were largely liquidity driven, and foreign institutional investors were buyers," Hsu said.
TSMC said at an investor conference in mid-April that the company will benefit in the third quarter from an increase in shipments of chips made with the advanced 10 nanometer process and a recovery in global smartphone demand.
The chip maker cautioned, however, that its consolidated sales for the second quarter could fall 8-9 percent from the first quarter to range between NT$213 billion and NT$216 billion.
"Judging from the movement of TSMC shares today, I think the stock will face stiff technical resistance at around NT$200," Hsu said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel