Market closes at lowest level of year

By Sandra Chuang, The China Post

The Taiwan stock market yesterday closed at the lowest level of the year in thin trading, with the market index down 80.54 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 4,904.34 on a daily turnover of NT$36.8 billion.

The index fell 27.69 points at the opening recovering briefly before falling again. With market sentiments damaged by the impact of the disappointing stock dividends of Chunghwa Telecom, the index headed lower as the session progressed, at one stage falling below 4,900 points. There was a modest revival in prices before the market closed. “The market was expected to remount 5,000 points with positive reports that the government may allow direct investment in mainland China and discuss possible tax cuts in July,” said a dealer.

“However, the gains were inhibited by the adjustment in Chunghwa Telecom’s share price,” he added. The index impact of dividend payout amounted to 33.34 points in the index. Technology shares were modestly higher early on technical rebound after recent sell-offs by foreign investors. However, gains were pared in the middle of the session due to a lack of positive incentives. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 1.2 percent to NT$85 while United Microelectronics Corp. added 1.5 percent to NT$47.4.

Financial shares ended almost flat as most titles gave up early gains amid concerns that the index would test lower.