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Local market reverses earlier losses on late-session buying

TAIPEI -- Shares in Taiwan edged up Friday as late session buying helped the index recoup earlier losses amid eased concerns over anti-China protests in Vietnam that has impacted many Taiwanese investors there, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 7.80 points, or 0.08 percent, at 8,888.45, after moving between 8,816.92 and 8,896.72 on turnover of NT$75.83 billion (US$2.51 billion).

9,000-point Hurdle Remains Stiff

"Despite the late session buying, the local market appeared quiet on thin turnover," Chang said. "As technical resistance ahead of 8,900-9,000 points remains strong, it will be difficult for the index to emerge from the current ranged trade any time soon," Hua Nan Securities analyst Stan Chang said.

The market opened down 0.26 points in reflection of the weakness on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.01 percent overnight on mixed economic data, the dealers said.

Selling escalated to drag down the index to the day's low before bargain hunting emerged to boost large-cap stocks in both the high-tech and old economy sectors to push up the broader market into positive territory at the close, they said.

The buying offset the effects of a plunge on Wall Street overnight as bargain hunters rushed to pick up stocks, largely in the old economy sector, while the relatively low valuation in the financial sector also attracted interest, the dealers said.

"Although the local market followed Wall Street to trend lower during most of the session, many investors rushed to take advantage of the fall in valuations in the late session," Chang said.

Vietnam Unrest Peters Out

"It seems that the impact from anti-China protests in Vietnam has eased. With more and more Taiwanese investors there resuming operations, investors became more willing to buy in the local market," Hua Nan Securities analyst Stan Chang said.

The bellwether electronics sector benefited from interest in select heavyweight stocks such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密) and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) to reverse the sector's earlier downtrend, they added.

In the traditional industrial sector, Eclat Textile Co. (儒鴻企業) rose 1.61 percent to close at NT$316.00 and rival Makalot Industrial Co. (聚陽實業) added 3.40 percent to end at NT$152.00. The two textile firms have production bases in Vietnam.

In the electronics sector, Hon Hai added 0.23 percent to close at NT$88.80 and MediaTek ended up 0.40 percent at NT$502.00, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, closed unchanged at NT$122.00.

Connector supplier Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. (正崴精密), however, fell 1.55 percent to end at NT$57.00 after the company reported disappointing results for the first quarter due to foreign exchange losses.

In the financial sector, which was also boosted by late session buying, Cathay Financial Holding Co. (國泰金控) rose 1.00 percent to close at NT$45.25 and E. Sun Financial Holding (玉山金控) added 1.06 percent to end at NT$19.05.

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