Taiwan's shares tumbled on Wednesday following overnight losses on Wall Street and European markets as investors turned cautious amid mounting uncertainty about next week's U.S. presidential election, dealers said.
Cautious sentiment dominated the global stock markets because some of the poll numbers have tightened over the past week, according to dealers.
While some of the latest presidential polls showed Democrat Hillary Clinton maintaining a big lead over Donald Trump, a poll by ABC News showed Trump leading by one point and the Los Angeles Times put the Republican candidate more than two points ahead.
On Wednesday, the Taiwan Stock Exchange's main index closed down 133.66 points, or 1.44 percent, at 9,139.04 after moving between 9230.23 and 9139.04, on turnover of NT$63.64 billion (US$2.01 billion).
Almost all major stock categories lost ground, with companies in the Apple supply chain and other large-cap stocks suffering the biggest losses and dragging down the broader market.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (???), the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan, fell 1.85 percent to close at NT$186.00, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), an assembler of iPhones and iPads, lost 2.36 percent to end at NT$82.60.
Metal casing producer Catcher Technology Co. (??) ended 5.95 percent lower at NT$229.00, while shares in Largan Precision Co. (???), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., fell 2.19 percent to close at NT$3,570.00.
Electroacoustics maker Merry Electronics Co. (??) dropped 4 percent to end at NT$119.00.
Bucking the downward trend, smartphone brand HTC Corp. (???) gained 0.65 percent to finish at NT$92.40.
Turnover remained low amid lingering cautious sentiment as many investors remained wary of the effects of a possible Trump presidency, according to Mega Securities Co., Ltd. analyst Huang Kuo-wei (???).
The outcome of the U.S. presidential election is expected to affect the local market for a certain period of time, Huang said.
Other factors contributing to the market uncertainty include an upcoming referendum in Italy on constitutional reform, a looming interest rate hike in the U.S. and the approaching third-quarter earnings report season, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel