Taiwan stocks end higher as TSMC rebounds

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan emerged from a slump to close higher on Friday, led by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which rebounded from its slump in the previous session, dealers said.

TSMC helped boost the flagship electronics sector, and the gains also spread to the old economy and financial sectors, providing further support to the main board, but turnover remained weak amid fears of further volatility in U.S. markets, dealers said.

The Taiex, the weighted index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), closed up 124.53 points, or 0.78%, at 16,144.85, after trading between 16,058.20 and 16,181, 66. Revenue totaled NT$197.899 billion (US$6.67 billion).

The market opened 0.26%, ignoring losses in U.S. markets overnight, and gained momentum as TSMC attracted bargain hunting after plunging 2.97% on Thursday , the dealers said.

The bargain hunt also extended to non-tech stocks, including the steel and financials sectors, helping the main board finish above 16,100 points, following its 1.70% drop. the day before, the dealers said.

“As U.S. markets continued to fall, selling was more on the Dow Jones than the tech-heavy Nasdaq index,” said Mega International Investment Services Corp analyst Alex Huang. “Investors here simply took advantage of the heavy losses suffered by electronics stocks yesterday to pick up some bargains today.”

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.75%, while the Nasdaq index ended down 0.26%.

Tech stocks

“In Taiwan, TSMC became the primary target of bargain hunters as its share price was relatively low, while its fundamentals remained strong,” Huang said.

TSMC, which had plunged about 15% this year due to rising US interest rates, rose 1.53% on Friday to close at NT$530.00. The stock contributed nearly 70 points to Taiex’s gains and led the electronics sector and the semiconductor sub-index to rise 0.72% and 1.09%, respectively.

However, other semiconductor heavyweights ended mixed, with chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. losing 0.20% to close at NT$50.70, and application-specific IC designer Faraday Technology Corp. losing 1.25% to close at NT$950.00, while IC testing and packaging services provider ASE Technology Holding Co. gained 1.88% to close at NT$97.50.

In the broader electronics sector, iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 0.47% to close at NT$107.00, and PC brand Acer Inc. lost 1 .42% to close at NT$27.75, after Acer Chairman Jason Chen (陳俊聖) was quoted in local media as saying he feared PC demand could be affected by lockdowns in China and inflation in the world.

Meanwhile, the broader market benefited from rotational buying, with old-economy stock selection leading, Huang said, referring to the steel sector, which rose 1.45 %.

Steel industry, transport sectors

Taiwan’s largest steel company, China Steel Corp. rose 1.21% to close at NT$33.35, Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp. rose 1.21% to close at NT$33.35. gained 2.17% to close at NT$61.10, Chung Hung Steel Corp. Corp. climbed 5.09% to close at NT$57.80.

Elsewhere in the old economy sector, Formosa Plastics Corp. gained 1.46% to close at NT$104.50, and Taita Chemical Co. gained 1.24% to close at NT$28.65.

Evergreen Marine Corp., Taiwan’s largest containerized freight forwarder, fell 0.74% to close at NT$135.00, while rival Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. ended up 2.17% at NT$117.50.

finance

In the financial sector, which rose 0.86%, Hua Nan Financial Holding Co. climbed 1.34% to close at NT$22.70, and Mega Financial Holding Co. gained 1.37% to close at NT$22.70. NT$37.10.

Fubon Financial Holding Co. finished up 0.32% at NT$61.80, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. finished up 0.38% at NT$52.90.

“Despite Taiex’s gains today, the session was quiet as turnover remained weak,” Huang said. “Many investors are still hesitant to chase prices, as they worry about increased volatility in US markets, amid tighter Federal Reserve policy, which is expected to drain market liquidity.”

Foreign institutional investors bought NT$7.19 billion worth of shares on the main board on Friday, according to the TWSE.

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