Taiwan shares shed 2.34% to end below 9,700 points

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan were hammered Thursday, falling 2.34 percent to below 9,700 points as investors took cues from a dive on Asian markets to dump tech stocks.

Market sentiment was dampened as shares across Asia plunged Thursday following the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟), chief financial officer at Chinese telecomm equipment maker Huawei, for alleged violations of sanctions against Iran.

Meng’s arrest, carried out at the request of United States’ authorities, spurred market worry about possible disruption of Huawei’s supply chain and setbacks in the China-U.S. trade talks.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) closed down 232.02 points, or 2.34 percent, at 9,684.72. Turnover totaled NT$142.82 billion (US$4.63 billion) during the session.

The Taiex ended below the 10-day moving average of 9,869 points and the 30-day moving average of 9,828.

The market opened down 66.66 points at the day’s high of 9,850.08 before selling emerged, sending the Taiex plunging to 9,664.75 at one point before the close.

All the major stock categories lost ground, with the electronics sector suffering the steepest drop of 3.23 percent, while the financial sector fell 0.63 percent.

Stocks of Taiwanese electronics companies in Apple Inc.’s supply chain came under pressure after Apple shares fell about 4.40 percent Tuesday and HSBC downgraded its rating on the American company from “buy” to “hold.”

Shares of Largan Precision, a leading supplier of smartphone camera lenses, plunged 9.94 percent to end at NT$3,035.00 after the company reported a 28.57 percent decline in sales for the month of November as compared to a year earlier.

Other suppliers to Apple also tumbled, with metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. ending down 9.89 percent at NT$237.00 after reporting a 13.3 percent year-on-year drop in its November sales.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which supplies iPhone processors and is the most heavily weighted stock in Taiwan, fell 2.65 percent to NT$220.00.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the main assembler of iPhones, ended 3.63 percent lower at NT$69.00.

Among the other falling electronics stocks, IC packaging and testing service provider Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (日月光) closed down 4.94 percent at NT$59.70, and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. dropped 6.1 percent to end at NT$229.50.

Makers of passive electronics components were also battered, with Yageo Corp losing 9.92 percent to end at NT$349.50, Walsin Technology Corp. dropping 9.83 percent to close at NT$183.50 and Holy Stone Enterprise Ltd. Co., (禾伸堂) finishing 7.2 percent lower at NT$116.00.

In the financial sector, Cathay Financial Holding Co. fell 0.3 percent to end at NT$48.25, Fubon Financial Holding Co. dropped 0.7 percent to finish at NT$48.00 and CTBC Financial Holding Co. closed 0.5 percent lower at NT$20.35.

An analyst at Mega International Investment Services Corp. said the Taiex is expected to hover between 9,600 and 9,950 in the short term and could face technical resistance at 9,950.

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$20.70 billion-worth of shares on the main board Thursday.