Shares in Taiwan closed below the 9,200- point level Friday as chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???) failed to respond positively to their third-quarter results, dealers said.
Market sentiment remained cautious toward the ongoing earnings season, although TSMC and Largan reported good earnings data, although many investors here have become wary of the global economy after China reported a 10 percent fall in exports for September, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 54.00 points, or 0.59 percent, at 9,165.17, after moving between 9,149.87 and 9,216.63, on turnover of NT$67.06 billion (US$2.12 billion). It was the first time the index had closed below 9,200 points since Sept. 30, when the main board ended at 9,166.85 points.
The market opened down 0.23 percent on lackluster performance on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial closed down 0.25 percent and the S&P 500 index ended down 0.31 percent, the dealers said.
Local share prices remained below the previous closing level throughout the session, as TSMC and Largan came under downward pressure despite their third-quarter results, and selling spread to other stocks in the high-tech sector, they said.
"TSMC's and Largan's results were good, but had been widely anticipated by the market and factored into their share prices in recent sessions," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "Today, investors simply pocketed their earlier gains from the two stocks, which pushed down the broader market."
TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local equity market, fell 0.27 percent to close at NT$188.00, with 33.22 million shares changing hands, although the world's largest contract chip maker reported a day earlier that its net profit for the third quarter hit a record high of NT$96.76 billion.
Largan, a supplier to Apple Inc., which benefited from the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September, posted an 88.6 percent month-on-month increase in net profit for the third quarter. But its shares shed 1.74 percent to close at NT$3,665.00 Friday.
Also in the bellwether electronics sector, which closed down 0.71 percent, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (???), the world's largest integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider, lost 1.56 percent to end at NT$37.85.
Bucking the downturn on the broader market, smartphone vendor HTC Corp. (???) gained 1.00 percent to end at NT$91.20 after a report that Google has teamed up with the Taiwanese firm to sell the latest Google Pixel smartphone models in India. HTC serves as the contract producer of Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
In the non-high-tech sector, food maker Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (??), which has huge investments in the China market, fell 1.97 percent to close at NT$59.80 amid rising concerns over the world's second-largest economy.
"The poor export data in China has raised concerns over the country's economic situation and even the entire weak global demand. It was no surprise that investors here preferred to cut their holdings for the moment," Huang said.
The 10 percent fall in China's exports for September came below an earlier market estimate of a 3 percent decline.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel