Taiwan shares rise after promising U.S. COVID-19 vaccine results

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Shares in Taiwan closed higher Tuesday after a rally in U.S. stocks spurred by positive results for an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by an American drugmaker amid ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Taiwan shares opened up 72.24 points and hit a high of 184.24 points after American biotechnology company Moderna Inc. said its tests of a vaccine to fight COVID-19 yielded signs it can create an immune-system response in the body that helped spur a surge on Wall Street.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended up 119.89 points, or 1.12 percent to above the 30-day moving average at 10,860.44 Tuesday on turnover of NT$185.29 billion (US$6.19 billion).

Driven by the news of Moderna’s vaccine development, shares in many Taiwanese biotech and pharmaceutical companies generally performed better than those of other industries.

Shares in Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp., which is working with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to create a new vaccine for COVID-19, rose by the daily maximum 10 percent to end at NT$85.80.

Meanwhile, Taiwan drugmaker Adimmune Corp. which has announced encouraging preclinical data on an experimental vaccine for COVID-19, saw its shares rise 9.97 percent to close at NT$52.40 percent.

Among the tech heavyweights, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, rose 0.52 percent to close at NT$291.50, while iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. declined 0.27 percent to close at the day’s high of NT$74.80.

Smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. ended down 0.39 percent at NT$3,845.00.

Led by TSMC, the electronics sector ended up 0.84 percent, while the financial sector closed up 1.26 percent.

Following new restrictions on sales to Chinese tech giant Huawei, shares in MediaTek Inc., Taiwan’s largest IC designer, closed 4.88 percent higher at NT$462.00.

However, Huawei-related stocks generally dropped on the Taiwan stock market Tuesday after the U.S. government imposed new restrictions on sales of American technology to the company last Friday.

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$4.65 billion worth of shares on the main board Tuesday.