Taiwan shares fall slightly on thin turnover

Shares in Taiwan closed lower amid thin turnover Wednesday after moving in a narrow range amid cautious sentiment toward a possible major pullback, after the weighted index moved higher to approach the 9,400-point mark a day earlier, dealers said.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange's main index closed down 23.40 points, or 0.25 percent, at 9,362.25, after fluctuating between 9,372.74 and 9,338.84, on turnover of NT$59.4 billion (US$1.88 billion).

The market opened down 29.99 points at 9,355.66 following lackluster performance on Wall Street overnight after Apple Inc. reported its first annual sales decline since 2001, amid waning smartphone demand, the dealers said.

The index then staged a rebound from the day's low and remained above the 9,300-point mark, but turnover remained thin, as many foreign investors were reluctant to chase prices amid fear of strong technical resistance after the weighted index closed above 9,300 points a day earlier.

Among the major stock categories, only plastics and paper and pulp issues gained ground, with textiles shares the biggest losers.

In the electronics sector, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan, fell 0.78 percent to end at NT$191.50, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), which assembles Apple iPhones and iPads, lost 0.12 percent to finish at NT$85.60.

Smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (???) rose 1.75 percent to end at NT$3,780.00.

However, the local main board remained resilient compared with other markets in Asia, barring the Japanese bourse, said Shawn Hsueh (???), an analyst with Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co.

Despite a decline in foreign buying Wednesday, Hsueh said, the recent gains in the local stock market could be attributed to strong buying by foreign investors.

Since the beginning of this year, foreign investors held nearly 41 percent of the share market by value, and bought a net NT$428.4 billion-worth of shares, a record annual high in nearly seven years, according to Hsueh.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel