Taipei, Shares in Taiwan moved lower Wednesday, closing below the 11,000 point mark, but contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, posted gains that helped cap the losses on the broader market, dealers said.
Other large-cap electronics stocks also appeared resilient, giving some support to the main board, while old economy and financial stocks suffered selling throughout the session, dealers said.
Market sentiment remained bothered by concerns over the trade disputes between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, and the lack of progress on a new trade deal between the U.S. and Canada, dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) closed down 26.25 points, or 0.24 percent, at 10,995.13, after moving between 10,989.93 and 11,058.06. Turnover totaled NT$113.95 billion (US$3.71 billion) during the session.
The market opened up 0.19 percent on follow-through buying from the previous session when the Taiex ended up 0.52 percent, and rose to the day's high early in the morning, dealers said.
However, selling soon emerged, with heavyweights in the old economy and financial sectors under pressure, but TSMC and some other large-cap stocks in the Apple Inc. supply chain bucked the trend, helping to prop up the Taiex, they said.
"Even though the market opened higher, investors appeared reluctant to chase prices amid fears over global trade," Ta Ching Securities analyst Jerry Chen said, referring to Washington's plan to impose tariffs on additional US$200 billion worth of China goods and the lack of progress on a new trade deal between the U.S. and Canada.
"Taipei was not the only market that weakened today," Chen said. "Investors in the region seem cautious at the moment." Other regional markets such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and South Korea also came under pressure. As many investors stayed on the sidelines, turnover remained thin here, Chen said.
If it were not for TSMC's gains, "the Taiex might have fallen by another 65 points," he said.
TSMC rose 2.52 percent to close at NT$264.00, with 44.68 million shares changing hands.
Chen said investors have been upbeat about TSMC because of its lead in advanced technology development, in particular after rival California-based Globalfoundries decided to abandon its efforts to develop the 7 nanometer process.
Some other Apple suppliers were also resilient, with iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second only to TSMC in terms of market value, ending unchanged at NT$80.10, and smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. finishing flat at NT$4,890.00 ahead of the launch of the next generation iPhones next week.
In the old economy sector, selling prevailed, with Taiwan Cement Corp. losing 1.71 percent to close at NT$41.55, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. shedding 1.98 percent to end at NT$124.00, and food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. finishing 2.09 percent lower at NT$75.00.
Among the falling financial stocks, Yuanta Financial Holding Co. shed 2.27 percent to end at NT$15.05, and CTBC Financial Holding Co. lost 1.62 percent to close at NT$21.20.
"More losses are possible before the Taiex finds the nearest technical support at around 10,900 points," Chen said.
According to the exchange, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$2.96 billion worth of shares on the main board Wednesday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel