Local market ends quiet ahead of US jobs data
CNATAIPEI--Shares in Taiwan closed flat in quiet trading as many investors stayed on the sidelines, waiting for United States nonfarm payroll data for September due out later in the day in Washington, dealers said.
October 23, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The bellwether electronics sector outperformed the broader market with large-cap high-tech stocks, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) , in focus, lending some support to the index, they said.
Old economy stocks, and food and textile shares in particular, however, suffered heavier downward pressure as investors locked in gains they had built in recent sessions, dealers said.
The weighted index ended down 1.05 points, or 0.01 percent, at 8,418.27, after moving between 8,376.27 and 8,425.31, on turnover of NT$77.37 billion (US$2.63 billion).
The market opened down 0.14 percent and fell to the day's low on follow-through selling from a session earlier, but bargain hunters turned active, helping push the benchmark index back above 8,400 points, dealers said.
Throughout the session, the market basically moved between buying in the electronics sector and selling in the old economy sector, they said.
“Since breaching 8,400 points Friday, the market has been faced with stiff technical resistance, making many investors reluctant to buy at the moment,” Mega International Investment Services Corp. (兆豐國際) analyst Alex Huang said.
“Today, investors simply seized on the scheduled release of the U.S. jobs data as a reason to take to the sidelines, which kept turnover low, making it even harder for the index to move out of its narrow trading range,” Huang said.
Electronics Sector Provides Lone Bright Spot
The U.S. normally releases the jobs report in the first week of a month, but the latest report was delayed by the partial government shutdown.
The nonfarm payroll data has been highly anticipated by the market because it may provide an indication of whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will extend its massive bond- buying program or start phasing it out.
Huang said the day's one bright spot was the performance of the electronics sector, which closed up 0.22 percent.
TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 1.36 percent to NT$111.50 on better-than-expected sales guidance for the fourth quarter.
Among the “Apple concept stocks,” Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密), which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., gained 0.53 percent to end at NT75.50, and metal casing supplier Catcher Technology Co. (可成科技) added 0.89 percent to close at NT$170.50.
Underperforming the broader market, the food sector fell 1.41 percent and the textile sector shed 1.02 percent on profit-taking.
Wei Chuan Foods Corp. (味全食品) lost 1.57 percent to close at NT$56.30, and rival Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (統一企業) shed 1.25 percent to end at NT$55.50.