Taiwan shares end at 28-year high

Taipei-Shares in Taiwan closed above the 10,900-point mark on Monday at their highest level in almost 28 years after Wall Street hit another record high on Friday, dealers said.

Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) moved higher to offset the losses suffered by select "Apple concept stocks," and buying also rotated to the old economy and financial sectors to further boost the market, they said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the Taiex, closed 0.33 percent higher at 10,915.75 after moving between 10,869.12 and 10,918.47, on turnover of NT$136.78 billion (US$4.64 billion).

The Taiex ended up for the eighth consecutive session and closed at its highest level since April 3, 1990, when it ended at 11,119.00.

The market opened up 0.18 percent to push above the nearest technical resistance of 10,822, a recent intraday high set on Nov. 22, 2017, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.88 percent on Friday at another record high of 25,295.87, dealers said.

TSMC continued to support the market upturn and the bellwether electronics sector as other Apple suppliers came under pressure after a disappointing sales report by smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. led to worries about iPhone X shipments.

Old economy stocks, including the four major companies under the Formosa Plastics Group, attracted buying on rising international crude oil prices, while the financial sector moved higher on bargain hunting, they said.

"With foreign institutional investors moving more funds into the region, Taiwan's equity prices got a boost," Ta Ching Securities Andy Hsu said.

"The gains posted on the U.S. market acted as another catalyst," Hsu said. "But I expect the market will see some profit-taking because there was stiff technical resistance after going above 10,900 points."

Hsu said TSMC remained one of the market's major anchors. TSMC has rallied since last week after local media reported it received rush orders from Chinese customers for high performance computing device production.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 0.83 percent to close at the day's high of NT$242.00, with 20.20 million shares changing hands.

Largan, the most expensive stock in the local market, plunged 4.15 percent to end at NT$3,930.00 on trading volume of 1.18 million after it reported a 13 percent month-on-month decline in December sales despite the launch of the iPhone X.

That news spread pessimism to other "Apple concept stocks," with iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, closing down 1.29 percent at NT$91.80.

Among the gaining petrochemical stocks, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. rose 1.92 percent to close at NT$79.50, Formosa Petrochemical Corp. finished 1.67 percent higher at NT$122.00, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. closed 1.44 percent higher at NT$105.50, and Formosa Plastics Corp. rose 1.12 percent to end at NT$79.50.

In the financial sector, which rose 1.03 percent, CTBC Financial Holding Co. closed 2.87 percent higher at NT$21.50, and E. Sun Financial Holding Co. added 1.29 percent to end at NT$19.60.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel