Shares close higher on financial, electronics gains


TAIPEI — Share prices in Taiwan finished slightly higher Wednesday on gains by financial and electronics stocks, despite limited trading volume.

The weighted index opened at 7,872.75 and moved between 7,894.26 and 7,857.32 before closing up 37.76 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,894.12. Turnover was NT$66.5 billion (US$2.23 billion).

A total of 2,682 stocks closed up, 2,150 finished down and 510 remained unchanged.

The overall gains were paced by heavy buying in large-cap financial stocks, which helped the financial sub-index close up 1.1 percent.

Fubon Financial Holding Co. ended 2.75 percent higher at NT$43, with 20.8 million shares trading hands, while Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 1.22 percent to close at NT$41.6 on volume of 21 million shares.

E.Sun Financial Holding Co. rose 1.67 percent to close at NT$18.3.

The electronics sub-index rose 0.52 percent, boosted by interest in selected large cap stocks.

The purchase of 4.2 million shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) late in Wednesday’s session helped the world’s largest contract chip maker close up 1.52 percent at the day’s high of NT$100.5.

Largan Precision Co., one of Taiwan’s leading smartphone camera lens suppliers, closed 1.69 percent higher at NT$782, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. seemed unaffected by its fraying ties with Sharp, closing unchanged at NT$83.5.

Ko Meng-tsung, vice president of SinoPac Securities Co., said thin trading limited fluctuations in the local bourse Wednesday, and he expected the benchmark index to range within 200 points above or below the 7,820-point mark in the near future.

Whether the TAIEX can break out of the narrow trading range in the second quarter will depend on cross-Taiwan Strait financial talks, the development of free economic zones in Taiwan and first quarter earnings reports, Ko said.