Taipei-Shares in Taiwan closed above the 11,000- point mark Wednesday, ending at the highest level in more than 27 years, with the bellwether electronics sector leading the gains, dealers said.
Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) was one of the drivers of the upturn, but its gains were capped by the end of the session as many investors were reluctant to chase prices ahead of the company's investor conference Thursday, dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 18.69 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,004.80, after moving between 10,942.95 and 11,030.22. Turnover totaled NT$147.013billion (US$5.12 billion) during the session.
The market opened down 9.98 points and moved to the day's low early in the morning session in reflection of a volatile Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.04 percent lower after giving up earlier gains of more than 200 points amid worry over a possible government shutdown, dealers said.
But by mid-morning, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, had returned to positive territory, boosting the broader market, dealers said.
However, some profit taking emerged late in the trading session, eroding some of TSMC's gains, they said.
After a moderate upturn Wednesday, the local main board soared to its highest level since April 3, 1990, when the Taiex closed at 11,119.00. Leading the gains, TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, rose 0.62 percent to close at NT$243.00, with 38.01 million shares changing hands.
"Investors became cautious ahead of TSMC's investor conference." KGI Securities analyst Phil Chu said. "They want to get more information about the semiconductor heavyweight's outlook for the first quarter of this year."
TSMC is expected to release its 2017 fourth-quarter results and give its sales guidance for the first quarter of this year when it holds its investor conference on Thursday.
Also in the electronics sector, which ended up 0.19 percent, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Co., second to TSMC in terms of market value, closed unchanged at NT$93.40, off an early high of NT$93.50.
Flat panel makers got a boost from bargain hunting on their relatively low valuations, with AU Optronics Corp. rising 0.77 percent to close at NT$13.15, and Innolux Corp. ending 2.18 percent higher at NT$14.05.
Meanwhile, Catcher Technology Co., a metal casing supplier to Apple Inc., fell 1.92 percent to close at NT$331.50 following a Bloomberg report of poor working conditions at Catcher's Suqian plant in China, which the company has denied.
In the financial sector, which fell 0.07 percent, Fubon Financial Holding Co. dropped 1.09 percent to close at NT$54.20, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. fell 0.53 percent to end at NT$56.30, while CTBC Financial Holding Co. closed unchanged at NT$22.00.
"The financial sector took a pause after its gains in recent sessions," Chu said. "Since the sector remains a market laggard, buying is expected to resume soon."
According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$11.08 billion worth of shares on the main board Wednesday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel