Taiwan shares end flat

Shares in Taiwan closed little changed Thursday as the local main board entered consolidation mode after moving higher to breach 9,200 points a session earlier, dealers said.

Following a strong showing the previous day, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) took a pause Thursday, while Apple concept stocks were mixed, despite the launch of the latest iPhone 7 models by the U.S. consumer electronics giant overnight, the dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 3.82 points, or 0.04 percent, at 9,262.89, after fluctuating between 9,224.89 and 9,273.57, on turnover of NT$76.20 billion (US$2.43 billion).

The market opened down 0.18 percent and moved lower to the day's low on a mild technical correction from an 0.84 percent increase seen a day earlier, as investors took cues from a lackluster Wall Street overnight, the dealers said.

The local main board then fell into a narrow trading range throughout the session, with large-cap stocks such as TSMC and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), an assembler of iPhones and iPads, retreating from the gains posted a day earlier, they said.

"Without a rising TSMC, it was hard for the weighted index to move forward and make another breakthrough today," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "After a recent strong showing, it was no surprise that the local main board fell into consolidation mode for the moment, with turnover reduced."

Huang said that the narrow trading range reflected a lack of fresh trading incentives for investors here.

"While the U.S. Federal Reserve released its Beige Book overnight, the document failed to contain any new ideas about the economic conditions in the United States, so many investors tended to stay away from the trading floor," Huang said.

Contract chip maker TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.54 percent to close at NT$183.00, with 30.15 million shares changing hands, after a 2.79 percent increase seen Wednesday, when the stock served as the driver to the gains posted on the broader market.

Apple launched the latest iPhone models -- the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus -- that day, but many Taiwanese suppliers to the U.S. consumer electronics giant failed to post significant gains Thursday.

"The new iPhones failed to impress the market, despite an upgrade of its specifications that had been widely anticipated," Huang said.

Among the Apple concept stocks, Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, lost 1.26 percent to close at NT$78.50, and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???) fell 0.94 percent to end at NT$3,685.00, while metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. (??) rose 3.88 percent to close at NT$241.00 after going ex-dividend.

In the non-high tech sector, Taiwan Cement Corp. (??) fell 2.67 percent to close at NT$36.50, and Formosa Plastics Corp. (??) lost 0.62 percent to end at NT$79.60, while Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) rose 1.52 percent to close at NT$46.75.

"After the weighted index ended above 9,200 points yesterday, the main board has become technically healthier," Huang said. "After consolidating for a while, the market is likely to return to an upswing."

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel