Taiwan shares end above 12,700 points, led by ‘Apple concept’ stocks

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved higher Monday to close above 12,700 points, as Apple Inc. suppliers and other high tech stocks attracted buying ahead of the expected release of new iPhones soon, dealers said.

Turnover was low, however, with investors waiting on the sidelines to see what decisions will be made by major central banks worldwide later this week, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended up 111.87 points, or 0.88 percent, at 12,787.82, after moving between 12,680.41 and 12,793.07. Turnover totaled NT$178.884 billion (US$6.06 billion) during the session.

The market opened up 4.46 points in the wake of mixed U.S. markets at the end of last week, but buying emerged in the mid-morning session, dealers said. The bellwether electronics sector led the rise of the broader market past the stiff technical resistance of 12,700 points — the 20-day moving average — by the end of the session, dealers said.

“Large electronics stocks had faced volatility last week, as investors took cues from a sell-off of tech stocks on the U.S. markets,” Hua Nan Securities analyst Kevin Su said. “Today, they regained their footing, staging a technical rebound.”

He said the buying was focused on Apple concept stocks, amid anticipation of the launch of new iPhones later this year, which will boost shipments of Taiwanese suppliers to Apple.

Apple has announced a special event for Tuesday but has not given any further information.

Among the major Apple concept stocks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., reportedly the sole supplier of processors for iPhones, rose 1.03 percent to close at NT$441.00, and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. gained 1.15 percent to end at NT$79.40.

Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple, soared 4.43 percent to close at NT$3,655.00. Integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. also rose, gaining 2.35 percent to end at NT$609.00, after it appeared to have recovered from the impact resulting from U.S. tighter sanctions on the Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Inc.

Boosted by the large-cap tech stocks, the electronics sector ended up 1.31 percent, accounting for about 66 percent of Monday’s total turnover.

The buying also spread to non-tech stocks, particularly in the cement and paper sectors, as investors hunted for bargains, Su said.

Among the gaining cement stocks, Taiwan Cement Corp. rose 1.54 percent to close at NT$42.95, and Asia Cement Corp. gained 1.66 percent to end at NT$42.90.

In the paper sector, Shihlin Paper Co. soared 4.62 percent to close at NT$63.40, and Cheng Loong Corp. added 1.75 percent to end at NT$29.00.

“Both the tech and non-tech sectors bounced back today, helping to boost the Taiex more than 100 points,” Su said. “But turnover shrank, as market sentiment remained cautious ahead of the scheduled policymaking meetings by major central banks worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The turnover on the Taiex fell short of the average of NT$197.3 billion in the previous five sessions, Su noted.

Among the major central banks, the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold a two-day meeting, starting Tuesday, while Taiwan’s central bank has scheduled its meeting for Thursday.

“While few investors think that the Fed and Taiwan’s central bank will cut interest rates, many are waiting to hear the banks’ economic outlook,” Su said.

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$9.58 billion worth of shares on the main board Monday.

(By Frances Huang)


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