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Heavyweight stock losses influence Taiwan market

TAIPEI--Shares in Taiwan dropped slightly Monday as the broader index was dragged down by losses in heavyweight stocks. The benchmark index closed down 0.91 percent or 81.08 points at 8,808.61.

On Monday, the TAIEX closed down 0.91 percent at 8,808.61 on turnover of NT$83.46 billion, while other markets in the greater China region closed higher and Asian markets were mixed.

USD Rises NT$0.017 to NT$30.192

The U.S. dollar rose against the Taiwan dollar Monday, gaining NT$0.017 to close at the day's high of NT$30.192.Turnover totaled US$453 million during the trading session.

The electronics sub-index fell 1.1 percent on poor performance among some of Taiwan's biggest names in the industry.

United Microelectronics Corp. (聯華電子) fell 1.13 percent, while chip-maker MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) slid 2.47 percent, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), which assembles Apple iPads and iPhones, dropped 1.9 percent.

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電), the world's largest contract chip-maker and the heaviest weighted stock on the local market, fell 1.25 percent to NT$118.5.

Leading smartphone lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (大立光電), the most expensive on the local market, however, bucked the downtrend to rise 0.52 percent to NT$1,940.

In the financial sector, TLG Insurance Co. (台壽保產險) plummeted 5.12 percent, part of an overall drop of 0.4 percent in the finance sub-index.

Other market heavyweights that suffered losses included Formosa Plastics (台塑), which closed down 1.03 percent at NT$77, and its Formosa Plastics Group affiliate, Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation (台化纖), which lost 0.42 percent to NT$70.7.

Taiwan Market Biggest Riser This Year

The Taiwan stock exchange's average turnover and benchmark index have grown significantly since the beginning of the year thanks to measures taken to stimulate trading, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) said Monday.

The exchange has seen average daily turnover grow 23.29 percent from last year, and the benchmark TAIEX is up 3.71 percent for the year to date, Tseng told lawmakers on the Legislature's Finance Committee who were visiting the local market.

The increases in both indicators are the highest posted by any international stock market, Tseng said.

Citing FSC statistics, Tseng said daily turnover on Taiwan's equity markets averaged NT$96 billion (US$3.18 billion) in 2013, but averaged NT$125.6 billion in January, NT$121.1 billion in February, NT$130.9 billion in March and NT$126.1 billion in April.

Turnover was roughly on the same pace in the first eight days of May, he added.

The main stock exchange's weighted index stood at 8,930 on May 8, up 3.71 percent from its close of 8,611 at the end of last year, Tseng said.

Most International Markets Down

Most international markets are down for the year to date, Tseng said. Average turnover on Japan's market is down 11 percent this year while the Nikkei 225 has fallen 13 percent since the beginning of the year, Tseng said.

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