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Taiwan shares down by 0.75% as investors remain weary ahead of Fed meet

TAIPEI--Taiwan shares closed 0.75 percent lower Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of an upcoming U.S. central bank meeting, with turnover the lowest in more than a month.

The Taiwan stock exchange's benchmark index closed down 63.07 points, or 0.75 percent, at the day's low of 8,313.87 after hitting a high of 8.374.21.

Turnover during the session was NT$65.5 billion (US$2.21 billion), the lowest since Nov. 12.

Waterland Securities Investment Consulting Co. said in a report that a U.S. Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18 and the settlement of December futures contracts on the TAIEX index on Wednesday are expected to weigh on investor sentiment this week.

The U.S. dollar rose against the Taiwan dollar Friday, gaining NT$0.017 to close at the day's high of NT$29.706. Turnover totaled US$753 million during the trading session.

The greenback opened at NT$29.700 and moved to a low of NT$29.590 before rebounding.

The auto sector was the only sub-index on the market Monday that closed in positive territory, finishing 0.16 percent higher.

Yulon Nissan Motor Co. (裕日汽車), which will be included in the Taiwan 50 index from Dec. 23, gained 1.73 percent to close at NT$410.5 Monday.

BofA Merrill Lynch Maintains a 'Buy' on ASE

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE,日月光), which has been tarnished by accusations that it discharged toxic wastewater without treating it, closed lower by the maximum daily swing of 7 percent at NT$25.75 after ending a three-day losing streak Friday.

Besides problems found in the IC packaging and testing service provider's plants in Kaohsiung, officials in Taoyuan also discovered wastewater treatment irregularities in ASE's plant in the northern county over the weekend.

But Bank of America Merrill Lynch maintained a "buy" recommendation on ASE, saying in its latest report that the company's market share would not be affected unless its K7 plant in Kaohsiung, the facility at the heart of the allegations, were closed for more than six weeks.

Meanwhile, Cayman Islands-registered Tong Ming Enterprise Co. (東明企業), which was set up by Taiwanese businessmen and owns stainless steal component manufacturers in China, posted a 15.91 percent gain on its opening day of trading.

Tong Ming, which had set an offer price of NT$22 per share, saw its shares soar at the opening to NT$29 before sliding gradually throughout the session and closing at NT$25.50.

The company posted sales of NT$4.66 billion and earnings per share of NT$1.04 during the first three quarters of this year.

The Taiwan stock exchange's 7 percent daily limit does not apply to stocks in their first five days of trading.

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 The worst is over for ASE's market performance: investors 
Tong Ming Enterprise (東明企業) General Manager Tsai Hung-chuan (蔡弘泉), third left, Chairman Tsai Ching-tung (蔡清東), fourth left, and others hit a drum to mark the company's first trading day on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, yesterday. (CNA)

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