Taiwan shares stage rebound Tuesday morning after U.S. rally

Taiwan shares staged a technical rebound Tuesday morning after a rally on U.S. markets overnight as concerns over the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus eased, dealers said.

The bellwether electronics sector led the gains as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) pushed above NT$600 (US$21.58) at one point, they said.

As of 10:12 a.m., the Taiex, the Taiwan Stock Exchange's benchmark index, had risen 176.25 points, or 1.02 percent, to 17,504.34 on turnover of NT$143.42 billion.

The market opened up 0.24 percent and momentum accelerated to vault the Taiex to its 20-day moving average of 17,535 points, dealers said.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.61 percent, bouncing back from a 2.53 percent downturn Friday in the wake of the newly detected Omicron variant.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index surged 1.88 percent and 4.08 percent, respectively.

"The Taiex challenging the 20-day moving average this morning showed the remarkable strength of the technical rebound," MasterLink Securities analyst Tom Tang said.

"The electronics sector retained its status as the market's mainstream sector with the gains posted by large semiconductor stocks, in particular TSMC, after the rise in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index," Tang said.

As of 10:12 a.m., TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, had gained 0.67 percent to NT$597.00, off a high of NT$600.00. Led by TSMC, the electronics sector was up 1.02 percent, and the semiconductor sub-index was up 0.76 percent.

Other semiconductor heavyweights also moved higher, dealers said.

Among them, United Microelectronics Corp., a smaller contract chipmaker, had risen 3.21 percent to NT$64.40, and IC packaging and testing services provider ASE Technology Holding Co. had added 1.98 percent to NT$103.00.

But IC designer MediaTek Inc. was down 0.49 percent at NT$1,025.00.

Also in the electronics sector, iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. had gained 1.45 percent to NT$105.00, and Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., had added 0.25 percent to NT$2,000.00.

The U.S. markets' rebound came after U.S. President Joe Biden said economic lockdowns in response to the omicron variant are currently off the table, which eased fears over an interruption in economic activity in the world's largest economy, dealers said.

Petrochemical stocks gained after a 2.6 percent rise overnight in West Texas Intermediate crude prices. Nan Ya Plastics Corp. had gained 0.85 percent to NT$82.40 and Formosa Plastics Corp. had risen 0.49 percent to NT$103.50 as of 10:12 a.m.

The transportation sector was up 2.77 percent on hopes of continued strong demand and rising freight rates. Evergreen Marine Corp., the largest container cargo shipper in Taiwan, was up 2.50 percent at NT$123.00, and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. was up 2.73 percent at NT$113.00.

"But I'm still cautious, because I want more information on how infectious and fatal the new variant is. Uncertainty from the new virus remains," Tang said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel