Taiwanese shares close above 8,900 points


TAIPEI — Taiwan share prices closed up 0.46 percent yesterday to end the day above 8,900 points as the high tech sector staged a rebound from recent losses resulting from the impact of a rising New Taiwan dollar, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 41.56 points to 8,907.91, after moving between 8,871.01 and 8,920.79, on turnover of NT$128.15 billion.

The market opened up 0.19 percent after Wall Street hit a fresh two-year high overnight and interest in the bellwether electronics sector emerged, in particular in late trade, as investors picked up bargains by taking advantage of high-tech stocks’ low valuations, the dealers said.

A total of 2,049 stocks closed up, 2,074 finished down and 437 remained unchanged.

The machinery and electronics sector scored the highest gains, ending up 0.6 percent. Textile stocks rose 0.5 percent, plastics and chemicals added 0.4 percent and the construction sector closed up 0.3 percent.

The cement, along with the paper and pulp sectors, rose 0.2 percent, while foodstuffs fell 0.2 percent and financial stocks closed down 0.4 percent.

“After recent consolidation, the electronics sector appeared attractive in terms of valuation,” Taiwan Life Group Asset Management analyst Arch Shih said.

Despite the gains, willingness to chase prices remained low amid fears that a stronger New Taiwan dollar will hurt the high-tech sector’s competitiveness, according to Shih.

Shih said that as many foreign investors have been away for the New Year holiday, turnover failed to expand further to lead the market to a breakthrough.

“Ahead of a central bank quarterly policy making meeting scheduled for later in the day, cautious sentiment also kept the market in range trade,” Shih said.

The market expects the central bank to raise its key interest rates by 0.125 percentage points, since the local economy has significantly rebounded in the first three quarters of this year.

Among the high-tech stocks, Largan Precision, the world’s largest cell phone camera lens maker, rose 3.26 percent to close at NT$728.00, while smartphone producer HTC gained 2.05 percent to end at NT$898.00.