Taiwan shares close above 10,000 points; turnover moderate

Taipei--Shares in Taiwan trended slightly higher and closed above the 10,000-point level Tuesday as the bellwether electronics sector gained ground, helped by interest in iPhone and iPad assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), dealers said.

Turnover was moderate, keeping the market from moving higher, as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policymaking meeting in early May, which could offer insight on the Fed's next move on interest rates, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 10.58 points, or 0.11 percent, at 10,007.84, after moving between 9,992.58 and 10,038.20, on turnover of NT$80.79 billion (US$2.68 billion).

The market opened down 2.58 points as investors shrugged off a higher Wall Street overnight amid worries of a possible pullback ahead of 10,000 points, dealers said.

The market then continued to trade in a narrow range for the rest of the session, but select market heavyweights provided some momentum to push the index slightly above the 10,000-point mark at the close, they said.

The weighted index closed above 10,000 points on May 11 for the first time in 17 years and has since hovered around that level on reduced turnover.

"Trading volume failed to expand amid caution today. So although the index breached 10,000 points, it's possible the market will test that level again before standing well beyond it," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said.

"Market sentiment remained cautious before the Fed minutes come out," Huang said. "In addition, several Fed officials will speak later in the week and investors simply want to collect more information before taking action." The Fed will hold its next meeting in mid-June.

The electronics sector picked up the market to a small extent, gaining 0.24 percent on the day.

Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, gained 1.46 percent to close at NT$104.00 amid hopes that the launch of the next generation iPhones in the second half of the year will boost its shipments.

But Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), which supplies the A11 processor for the new iPhone production, ended unchanged at NT$205.00, while Largan Precision Co. (???), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple, fell 0.51 percent to end at NT$4,875.00. Also in the high-tech sector, flat panel maker Innolux Corp. (??) rose 2.66 percent to close at NT$13.50, and contract notebook computer maker Compal Electronics Inc. (??) gained 1.22 percent to end at NT$20.80.

The financial sector was down 0.26 percent, somewhat offsetting the gains in the electronics sector.

Among the falling financial stocks, CTBC Financial Holding Co. (???) fell 1.55 percent to close at NT$19.10, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) lost 0.61 percent to end at NT$48.50.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel