Taiwan shares close higher, above 9,800 points

Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA)-Shares in Taiwan ended moderately higher and above the 9,800-point mark Thursday after moving in a narrow range, with contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) moving higher to offset losses suffered by other tech stocks.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), or Taiex, ended up 34.58 points, or 0.35 percent, at 9,826.46, after moving between 9,755.12 and 9,844.39. Turnover totaled NT$96.27 billion (US$3.12 billion).

Despite falls on Wall Street overnight, with the S&P 500 notching up a fifth straight day of losses, the Taiwan market opened up 14.70 points at 9,806.58 and hit a high of 9,844.39 before selling emerged, sending the Taiex down to 9,755.12 at one point before the close.

In the United States, shares of Apple Inc. fell for a fifth consecutive day on mounting concerns that iPhone sales have hit a wall. Apple’s 2.8 percent drop helped drag the S&P 500 technology index down 1.3 percent Wednesday.

In the bellwether electronics sector, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 1.00 percent to end at NT$231.00, while iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. gained 1.64 percent to end at NT$74.50.

Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc., lost 2.98 percent to close at NT$3,095.00.

Other companies that supply parts to Apple put in a mixed performance Thursday, with flexible PCB firm Career Technology (Mfg.) Co. dropping 1.93 percent to end at NT$30.50, while Merry Electronics Co., Ltd., which specializes in electroacoustics, surged 4.29 percent to end at NT$121.50.

Among passive component stocks, Yageo Corp. rose 1.96 percent to close at NT$312.00, while Walsin Technology Corp. rose 3.80 percent to end at NT$164.00.

An analyst at Cathay Securities Co. said the U.S. and Chinese economies have shown signs of cooling amid the trade war between the two countries, with technology firms expected to see their downward trend continue.

In addition, a rising U.S. dollar may have a negative impact on global and domestic stock markets, the analyst said.

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$2.26 billion-worth of shares on the main board Thursday.