Taiwan shares end higher as TSMC rebounds

Taipei, Shares in Taiwan recovered from early losses to close in positive territory Friday as select large cap stocks in the electronics sector, in particular Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), staged a rebound, dealers said.

Buying was also seen in the financial sector, but sentiment remained cautious ahead of the expected unveiling of a list of U.S. tariffs targeting China and fears of further foreign institutional selling, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSMC), the Taiex, ended up 73.49 points, or 0.67 percent, at the day's high of 11,087.47, off an early low of 10,981.61, on turnover of NT$189.98 billion (US$6.33 billion).

The market opened down 0.14 percent on follow-through selling from a session earlier, with the index falling below the 11,000-point mark, dealers said.

But bargain hunters turned active Friday, especially in the afternoon, to pick up select market heavyweights such as TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, to help the Taiex close up from a day earlier, they said.

Due to TSMC's gains, the Taiex closed above the 20-day moving average of around 11,032 and became technically healthier, dealers said.

"Today's gains were technical in nature after the heavy losses seen a session earlier," Hua Nan Securities analyst Henry Miao said. "Investors simply seized on a relatively stable Wall Street, especially in tech stocks, to look for bargains in Taiwan."

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed up 0.85 percent on the U.S. market overnight.

"Interest in TSMC resumed today. It seemed investors wanted to boost the stock to raise the broader market out of yesterday's doldrums," Miao said. "The late buying in TSMC also lifted overall turnover."

TSMC gained 1.99 percent to close at the day's high of NT$231.00, off an early low of NT$224.00, with 48.04 million shares changing hands. TSMC's upturn contributed about 45 points alone to the Taiex's rise Friday.

Also benefiting from late bargain hunting was iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market value. It recovered from a low of NT$84.50 but still finished down 0.58 percent at NT$85.00.

The financial sector was also helped by buying late in the session, finishing up 0.77 percent at the close.

Among the gaining financial stocks, Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 1.51 percent to close at NT$53.70, off an early low of NT$52.70, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. added 1.47 percent to end at NT$55.30 after hitting a low of NT$54.30.

In the old economy sector, food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. rose 2.34 percent to close at NT$74.20, and textile company Far Eastern New Century Corp. gained 3.68 percent to end at NT$29.60.

"Despite the gains in the Taiex, investors remained worried about a possible trade war between the United States and China as Washington is scheduled to release a list of tariffs targeting US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods later in the day," Miao said.

"Moreover after yesterday's sell-off by foreign institutional investors, local investors have turned wary of when foreign institutional buying will resume," Miao said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$8.87 billion worth of shares on the main board Friday after a net sell of NT$14.43 billion on Thursday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel