Local bourse closes above 8,000-point mark
CNATAIPEI -- Shares in Taiwan moved higher to end above the 8,000-point mark Friday after the financial sector continued its momentum as investors are expecting Taiwan and China to come up with more measures to boost cross-Taiwan Strait financial exchanges, dealers said.
March 9, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
Financial heavyweights, in particular, attracted strong buying after they reported impressive earnings in the first two months, while large-cap electronics appeared lackluster amid lingering concerns over slow season effects in the first quarter, the dealers said.
The weighted index closed up 54.63 points, or 0.68 percent, at 8,015.14, after moving between 7,981.00 and 8,029.14, on turnover of NT$91.97 billion (US$3.10 billion).
The market opened up 0.26 percent after the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another record high overnight on the back of a fall in the latest weekly initial jobless claims in Washington, the dealers said.
Momentum accelerated as financial stocks steamed ahead, led by large-cap stocks such as Fubon Financial Holding Co. and Cathay Financial Holding Co., to push the index higher at the end of the session, they said.
“Thanks to the gains posted by the financial sector, the broader market jumped over the stiff technical hurdles ahead of 8,000 points,” Hua Nan Securities analyst Stan Chang said.
The financial sub-index closed up 2.13 percent.
“With a meeting between Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission approaching later this month, many investors have high hopes about more positive leads for the sector,” Chang said.
Buying focused on financial stocks, which reported an improvement in earnings for the first two months of this year, the dealers said.
Fubon Financial rose 4.88 percent to close at NT$43.00 after reporting a net profit of NT$0.75 per share for the first two months, up from a net profit of NT$0.54 per share over the same period of last year,
Cathay Financial gained 2.20 percent to end at NT$41.85 after posting NT$0.44 in earnings per share (EPS) in the two months, sharply up from NT$0.01 recorded a year earlier.
Shin Kong Financial Holding closed up 5.70 percent at NT$9.64 on expectations that the company will book about NT$30 billion in an increase in property asset value in 2013.
“Although the market breached 8,000 points today, I remain cautious about the future movements, as the electronics sector has appeared sluggish amid fears over the first-quarter slow season effects,” Chang said.
The electronics sub-index underperformed the broader market, finishing up 0.30 percent.
Smartphone vendor HTC Corp. fell 2.44 percent to close at NT$259.50 after the company reported NT$11.4 billion in sales for February, down 26.6 percent from January and also down 44 percent from a year earlier.
“The market has concerns about a component shortage suffered by HTC. Many investors fear that the launch of its latest flagship model — the new HTC One — will fail to boost the company's sales significantly,” Chang said.
Chang said investors should pay close attention to how Wall Street will move, adding once the U.S. market pulls back on technical factors, the Taiwan market will suffer.