Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan closed slightly higher Tuesday after moving in consolidation mode throughout the session amid lingering concerns over further volatility on Wall Street, dealers said.
Select large cap stocks, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and financial institutions, lent support to the broader market, while many stocks remained in the doldrums, they said.
The weighted stock index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), the Taiex, ended up 9.79 points, or 0.10 percent, at 9,526.11, after moving between 9,481.66 and 9,574.83, on turnover of NT$99.82 billion (US$3.22 billion).
The market opened down 7.51 points and soon fell below the 9,500-point mark as investors reacted to a 0.99 percent fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average overnight, dealers said.
Buying re-emerged at around 9:30 a.m. but then seesawed for the rest of the session, with some market heavyweights such as TSMC, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and financial stocks closing in positive territory to help the Taiex close above 9,500 points, they said.
"After heavy losses in recent sessions, market sentiment remained weak, causing the Taiex to consolidate for most of the session," Ta Ching Securities analyst Jerry Chen said.
"Even though the index bounced back early in the morning, investors appeared reluctant to chase prices, which kept trading volume low," Chen said.
Chen said investors were largely worried about possible losses on Wall Street amid lingering trade friction between the United States and China and uncertainty before next week's U.S. mid-term elections.
"Thanks to TSMC, the Taiex ended higher. But with many investors staying on the sidelines, I think buying came from government-led funds," Chen said.
TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the Taiex and the sole supplier of processors to the new iPhones, gained 0.22 percent to close at NT$223.00, off an early low of NT$220.50, with 28.87 million shares changing hands.
Buying in TSMC also spread to other "Apple concept stocks" with Hon Hai up 1.19 percent to end at NT$76.40 and flexible PCB producer Career Technology (Mfg.) Co. up 9.89 percent to close at NT$39.45.
Bucking the upturn, Largan Precision Co., a camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., shed 3.95 percent to end at NT$3,165.00.
"I'm guessing government-led funds also bought into financial stocks and select old economy stocks to prop up market confidence and offset unfavorable external factors," Chen said.
In the financial sector, which closed up 1 percent, Cathay Financial Holding Co. gained 1.79 percent to close at NT$48.35, and Fubon Financial Holding Co. rose 1.28 percent to end at NT$47.50.
Among the gaining old economy stocks, President Chain Store Corp., which operates the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Taiwan, rose 2.51 percent to close at NT$346.50, and China Steel Corp., the largest steel supplier in the country, gained 1.68 percent to end at NT$24.15.
Food brand President Enterprises Corp., however, fell 2.48 percent to close at NT$74.80.
"As long as the government's support continues, the Taiex could breach the 5-day moving average of around 9,562 soon," Chen said. "But it will be hard for the main index to overcome high technical barriers ahead of the 10-day moving average of 9,741 points in the short term."
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel