Taipei--Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher Wednesday as sentiment turned cautious ahead of investor conferences scheduled Thursday for two tech heavyweights -- contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???) -- dealers said.
Still, buying in Largan, the most expensive stock in the local equity market, continued to push up the stock to another closing record high, although the gains for Wednesday moderated from a session earlier, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 5.11 points, or 0.05 percent, at 10,420.68, after moving between 10,393.54 and 10,450.87, on turnover of NT$109.71 billion (US$3.60 billion).
The market opened down 0.18 percent and moved to the day's low on a mild technical correction from a 1.22 percent surge a session earlier, but with the weighted index falling below the 10,400-point mark, bargain hunting followed, focusing in particular on select Apple concept stocks, to push up the broader market into positive territory, the dealers said.
"After yesterday's strong showing, it was understandable that some investors preferred to take a pause for the moment," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "Today, they simply seized the two investor conferences planned by TSMC and Largan as an excuse to slow down their buying."
The TSMC and Largan investor conferences have been widely anticipated by the market, as the two high-tech heavyweights will detail their results for the second quarter and give sales guidance for the third quarter.
"As TSMC and Largan are two of the most important suppliers to Apple Inc., their comments on their third-quarter sales will serve as an indicator of how the U.S. consumer electronics giant has been preparing for the launch of the next-generation iPhones," Huang said.
"I guess that many foreign institutional investors are watching closely what the two Taiwanese tech firms will say tomorrow," he said.
TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan, which is believed to supply the A11 processor for the new iPhones, fell 0.71 percent to close at NT$210.50 off an early high of NT$212.50, with 26.43 million shares changing hands, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), an assembler of iPhones, ended unchanged at NT$118.50, after hitting a high of NT$119.50.
However, Largan continued its uptrend Wednesday, rising 2.74 percent to close at a record high of NT$5,430.00, lending support to the electronics sector as well as the broader market, the dealers said. The stock soared 3.83 percent a day earlier.
Among other gaining Apple concept stocks, touch panel maker General Interface Solution (GIS) Holding Ltd. (??), a subsidiary of Hon Hai, grew 10 percent, the maximum daily increase, to close at NT$244.50, and metal casing Catcher Technology Co. (??) added 1.59 percent to end at NT$384.00.
"Despite the mild gains on the broader market, the electronics sector remained a factor that dictated the weighted index, accounting for about 65 percent of the total turnover," Huang said.
In the old economy sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. (??) rose 1.47 percent to close at NT$89.70, and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (??) gained 2.25 percent to end at NT$77.40 on the back of a recovery in petrochemical product prices in China, while Asia Cement Corp. (??) fell 1.13 percent to close at NT$26.20.
"I expect another narrow range for Thursday, as TSMC and Largan will start their investor conferences after the market closes," Huang said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel