Taiwan shares edge higher but stay below 9,800-point mark

Taipei--Shares in Taiwan were boosted by gains in United States markets to close higher on Wednesday, but the market's weighted index fell short of the 9,800-point mark due to weakness in in semiconductor and financial stocks, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 14.85 points, or 0.15 percent, at 9,778.78, after moving between 9,820.07 and 9,770.10, on turnover of NT$99.305 billion (US$3.23 billion).

Taiwan's market was buoyed by roughly half percent gains in the Dow Jones Industrial and Nasdaq overnight, with transportation, construction, computer and optoelectronics shares among the biggest winners.

But semiconductor stocks tumbled 0.52 percent, dragged down by the world's largest contract chip maker and most heavily weighted stock on the exchange, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), which closed 0.79 percent lower at NT$188.5.

The financial sector slid 0.14 percent lower, as Fubon Financial Holdings (???) closed down 0.59 percent at NT$50.20 and Cathay Financial Holdings (???) finished 0.81 percent lower at NT$48.80.

Taiwan's over-the-counter market outperformed the main exchange on Wednesday, finishing 0.79 percent higher at 134.58.

Analysts said the small and medium-sized companies represented on the over-the-counter market have shown stronger fundamentals recently, and stocks in sectors that have grabbed a lot of attention recently, such as automotive electronics, optoelectronics and biotechnology, could soon become mainstream.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel