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TWSE down, tech lends a hand

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Shares in Taiwan closed slightly lower on thin turnover Tuesday as investors lacked confidence in the market's outlook after heavy losses seen a week earlier, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 9.79 points, or 0.11 percent, at 9,163.12, after moving between 9,146.98 and 9,198.10, on turnover of NT$87.96 billion (US$2.93 billion).

MSCI Adjustment Casts Uncertainty

As Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) is expected to announce the latest seasonal adjustment on Thursday, the same day on which the earnings season considered over, local shares are bound to experience short-term selling pressure, the United Evening News cited analysts to report.

Morgan Stanley yesterday raised its target for Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index (TAIEX) to 9,200 points, from the previous 8,850 while UBS Securities maintained the forecast at 9,650 points.

The market opened up 0.17 percent and rose to the day's high on follow-through buying seen a session earlier, but the momentum was blunted by the unwillingness of many investors to chase prices, pushing the index into negative territory, dealers said.

"Yesterday's gains were simply technical in nature. So the local market remained stuck in a consolidation mode today," President Securities analyst Vickie Hsieh said.

The weighted index fell 1.95 percent last week on unease caused by a series of gas explosions in Kaohsiung on July 31 that killed at least 30 and injured more than 300 and geopolitical tensions related to Ukraine and the Middle East.

"Many investors here remain wary of further volatility in the global equity markets at a time when geopolitical conflicts are still dictating market sentiment," Hsieh said.

While selling focused on old economy and financial stocks, the bellwether electronics sector showed resilience, with some "Apple concept stocks" bucking the downturn to prevent the broader market from falling further at the close, dealers said.

Apple Concept Posts Gain

The bellwether electronics sector was the day's silver lining, Hsieh said, as some of Apple's local suppliers posted gains.

One of the outperforming Apple concept stocks, metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co. (可成科技), gained 5.35 percent to close at NT$285.50 after the company reported second-quarter net profit of NT$3.64 billion, up 22.1 percent from a quarter earlier and up 0.2 percent from a year earlier.

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