Taiwan shares end flat, electronics stocks slide

Taipei, Shares in Taiwan ended flat after a positive start on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday -- the last trading session ahead of May 20, the second anniversary of President Tsai Ing-wen's presidency.

After opening at 10,844.09, the Taiex rose to the day's high of 10,893.35 within 20 minutes but then lost its momentum in the rest of the session and ended down 2.97 points, or 0.03 percent, at 10,830.84, dragged down by a weak performance by most electronics shares.

Turnover totaled NT$125.891 billion (US$4.21 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 403 to 388, with 128 remaining unchanged.

The electronics sub-index finished down 0.26 percent, hurt by weakness in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker and the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan. It fell 1.32 percent to finish at NT$223.50.

Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc. and the most expensive stock on the Taiex, bucked the general weakness in the sector, adding 2.3 percent to NT$4,010.

Financial shares were a bright spot Friday, gaining 0.27 percent to keep the Taiex above its 10-day moving average of 10,800.

Analysts said the electronics sector is expected to move in consolidation mode in the short term due to the diverging performance of shares, and they predicted that the overall market will come under selling pressure in the near term until there is reason for renewed momentum.

Investors should follow companies' earnings reports in May and June as well as shareholder meetings to get an idea of the market's direction, analysts said.

Another factor worth watching, they said, is whether the U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates in June as is widely anticipated.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel