Taiwan shares end up lower with losses capped amid geopolitical concerns

Taipei, April 1 (CNA) Taiwan stocks closed slightly lower on Friday after recouping some of earlier losses at a time when renewed worries about the impact of war in Ukraine returned to haunt investors, investors said. dealers.

The flagship electronics sector came under greater pressure as tech stocks tumbled in U.S. markets overnight, while buying shifted to non-tech industries, particularly in the technology sectors. transportation and finance, supporting the broader market, the dealers added.

The Taiex, the weighted index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), ended down 67.88 points, or 0.38%, at 17,625.59 after trading between 17,465.61 and 17,657.76. . Revenue totaled NT$228.65 billion (US$7.96 billion).

Losses in US overnight markets

The market opened 0.20% lower and selling rose to send the Taiex down more than 220 points at one point in the morning session as investors took inspiration from heavy losses in US markets where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.56% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index lost 1.54%, dealers said.

The weakness came after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to suspend natural gas supply contracts with Europe unless paid for in rubles as Moscow reacted to sanctions imposed by the West. added the dealers.

With the Taiex falling below 17,500 points, some bargain hunters became active in picking up some semiconductor heavyweights, while buying in the transportation and financial sectors continued throughout the month. session, the dealers said.

“Global stock markets remained hampered by geopolitical factors. Before the political crisis is resolved, greater volatility is expected to emerge,” said Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su.

“As for the local main board, the electronics sector was spotlighted by the plummeting selling of tech stocks in US markets overnight, which simply spurred local investors reduce their holdings,” Su said.

Technology sector

Among declining large-cap tech stocks, contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the most weighted stock in the local market, lost 1.34% to close at NT$589.00 , but bottomed out at NT$584.00. Led by TSMC, the electronics sector ended down 0.91% at 819.24 from a low of 813.17.

“The silver lining was that the electronics sector saw some bargain hunting with semiconductor heavyweights, including TSMC, front and center,” Su said. “These stocks have looked attractive after taking a big hit in recent sessions.”

Other semiconductor stocks that benefited from bargain hunting included United Microelectronics Corp., a small contract chipmaker, which fell 2.04% to close at NT$52.90, and smartphone IC designer MediaTek Inc. which fell 0.55% to close at NT$900.00.

Against the recession, display driver IC designer Novatek Microelectronics Corp. gained 0.23% to close at NT$427.50, and app-specific IC Alchip Technologies, Ltd. gained 0.91% to close at NT$1,110.00.

Also in the electronics sector, iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 1.42% to end at NT$104.50 as the stock remained hampered by recent reports that Apple Inc. cut orders for the latest iPhone SEs due to weaker demand. . Additionally, Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple, also fell 1.33% to close at NT$1,860.00.

“Besides bargain hunting in semiconductor heavyweights, the buying also included shipping and airline stocks as investors took advantage of their recent slump,” Su said.

Transportation inventory

In the transportation sector, which rose 1.73%, Evergreen Marine Corp., the largest containerized cargo shipper in Taiwan, rose 2.59% to end at NT$138.50, and rivals Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. and Wan Hai Lines Ltd. gained 1.61% and 0.95%, respectively, to close at NT$126.50 and NT$160.00.

Meanwhile, shares of China Airlines rose 2.06% to close at NT$27.20, and EVA Airways gained 2.33% to close at NT$33.00.

At a time when major central banks have launched a rate hike cycle, Su said, financial stocks have been riding the wave of rising rates, which will widen interest spreads and bolster their profitability.

The financial sector rose 0.66% with Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Cathay Financial Holding Co. up 0.78% to end at NT$77.10 and NT$65.00, respectively. Additionally, CTBC Financial Holding Co. rose 1.53% to close at NT$29.85, and SinoPac Financial Holding Co. added 1.63% to close at NT$18.70.

“Investors should pay attention to upcoming US jobs data (due later today),” Su said. “If the data is strong, the US Federal Reserve will not hesitate to aggressively raise interest rates to fight inflation, which should encourage foreign investors to move funds out of the region.”

According to the TWSE, foreign institutional investors sold NT$10.60 billion worth of shares on the main board on Friday.

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