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Local bourse declines to close at below 7,100

Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell into negative territory yesterday, closing below the 7,100 point mark, on futures-led selling, dealers said.

Seeking to push down share prices on the spot market for a profit in the futures market, foreign institutional investors focused their selling on large-cap stocks, in particular in the old economy sector, dealers said.

Select high-priced electronics such as smartphone vendor HTC Corp. and handheld camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co., however, staged a technical rebound, lending some support to the broader market, dealers added.

The weighted index closed down 57.28 points, or 0.80 percent, at 7,088.49, after moving between 7,061.87 and 7,169.40. Turnover during the session totaled NT$55.51 billion.

The market opened up 4.47 points and moved to the day's high as investors saw Wall Street recovering from an earlier low after Washington released improving housing market data, dealers said.

However, as the index moved closer to the nearest technical resistance around 7,200 points, investors rushed to lock in their gains, dragging the index into the red by the end of the session, dealers said.

'Don't make things worse'

The fact Taiwan stocks fell despite rallies across the globe drew complaints from the island's brokerage association yesterday.

"A string of recent government measures have produced a dire impact on stocks," the group said. "If the government can't help improve stocks, that's fine. Just don't make things worse."

Among the large-cap old economy stocks, Formosa Plastics fell 1.78 percent to close at NT$71.60, and Nan Ya Plastics dropped 3.14 percent to NT$46.30 amid lingering concerns over falling demand for petrochemical products.

In the financial sector, China Life Insurance lost 2.72 percent to close at NT$23.25, and Fubon Financial Holding fell 1.61 percent to NT$30.65 on profit taking.

While selling focused on the old economy sector, select high-tech stocks appeared resilient, with HTC rising 2.33 percent to NT$241.50 and Largan up 1.60 percent at NT$697.00.

At the end of the session, the plastics and chemical sector had suffered the heaviest selling among the eight major sectors of the market, finishing down 1.75 percent.

Paper and pulp stocks fell 1.58 percent, while financials shed 1.26 percent.

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