Taiwan shares close little changed


TAIPEI–Taiwan share prices closed little changed yesterday after concerns over the country’s global competitiveness amid a rising New Taiwan dollar eroded early gains on follow-through buying, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 3.84 points or 0.04 percent to end at 8,740.43, after moving between 8,717.53 and 8,789.25, on turnover of NT$145.89 billion.

The market opened up 0.40 percent and moved to the day’s high on ample liquidity, but sentiment turned sour as investors witnessed the New Taiwan dollar extend its gains and breach the NT$30.00 level against the U.S. dollar to hit a high of about 12 years during the trading session, the dealers said.

A total of 1,738 stocks closed up and 2,630 were down, with 330 remaining unchanged.

The textile sector scored the highest gains, closing up 1.5 percent. Construction stocks rose 0.9 percent, foodstuffs added 0.6 percent, and plastics and chemical shares gained 0.5 percent.

However, cement stocks fell 1.0 percent and financial shares lost 0.7 percent, while the machinery and electronics, and paper and pulp sectors both closed down 0.1 percent.

“As the index moved closer to the nearest resistance level at around 8,800 points, investors were pocketing their recent gains,” Horizon Securities analyst Benson Huang said.

Huang said selling focused on the bellwether electronics sector, which serves as the backbone of Taiwan’s exports.

However, as the index fell to about 8,700 points, bargain hunters became active to lend some support to the market, Huang said.

Among the high tech stocks, PC vendor AsusTek shed 2.11 percent to close at NT$278.50, United Microelectronics Corp. lost 0.93 percent to end the day at NT$16.05 and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. fell 0.58 percent to finish at NT$69.