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Bourse extends streak on gains in US; HTC at below NT$200

TAIPEI -- Shares on the Taiwan Stock Exchange extended momentum Friday from a session earlier as investors took cues from a rally on Wall Street overnight on the back of improving economic data in the United States, dealers said.

Buying focused on the old economy sector, which had been a market laggard, from high-tech stocks that had outperformed the broader market in recent sessions, they said.

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp. failed to manage itself to end above the NT$200 mark amid lingering concerns over its bottom line, they added.

The weighted index closed up 30.83 points, or 0.42 percent, at 7,210.47, after moving between 7199.57 and 7,235.13, on turnover of NT$75.42 billion (US$2.58 billion).

The market opened up 0.64 percent and moved to the day's high in reflection of Wall Street's 1-percent gain after Washington reported a rebound in manufacturing activity in October and an improvement in consumer confidence in the same month, dealers said.

The gains on the local bourse, however, were capped by the end of the session as profit taking emerged after the index breached the 7,200 mark, while turnover remained thin with many investors on the sidelines, they said.

“I prefer to say today's gains were simply a technical rebound as market sentiment remained cautious about the upcoming U.S. presidential election,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

Huang said after a recent slump, many stocks in the local bourse remained in a consolidation mode.

“The local bourse is likely to keep moving in a narrow range until political uncertainty in the U.S. is removed,” Huang said. “The market is faced with technical resistance as it has entered the 7,200-7,300 point range.”

Huang said investors moved their funds out of the high-tech sector by locking in the gains they had built recently.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, which assembles iPhone and iPad for Apple Inc., fell 1.34 percent to close at NT$88.60, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip-maker, rose 0.78 percent to end at NT$89.90, off an early high of NT$90.10.

Among the winning non-electronics stocks, Huang Hsiang Construction rose 5.64 percent to close at NT$73.00 and Fubon Financial Holding added 2.49 percent to end at NT$30.85.

At the end of the session, the construction sector scored the highest gains among the eight major sectors of the market, finishing up 2.16 percent. Financials added 1.93 percent, paper and pulp stocks gained 1.06 percent, and textiles closed up 0.85 percent.

The cement sector rose 0.8 percent, foodstuffs added 0.68 percent, plastics and chemicals gained 0.49 percent, and machinery and electronics closed up 0.01 percent.

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