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Local market extends gains but still closes shy of 8,500

TAIPEI--Shares in Taiwan extended gains Thursday from a session earlier, but the index still closed short of 8,500 points, the nearest technical resistance level, dealers said.

With many foreign institutional investors away from the trading floor for the Christmas holiday, turnover fell further, making trading slow throughout the session, the dealers said.

Market sentiment remained cautious as investors were paying close attention to a quarterly meeting of the central bank scheduled to begin later in the day to decide on the bank's key interest rates, they added.

The weighted index closed up 18.13 points, or 0.21 percent, at 8,485.89, after moving between 8,465.85 and 8,492.71, on turnover of NT$55.05 billion (US$1.84 billion).

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, rose 0.97 percent to close at NT$104.00, but integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) fell 0.35 percent to end at NT$428.50.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, food supplier Uni-President Enterprises Corp. (統一企業) added 1.12 percent to close at NT$54.00, while textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp. (遠東新世紀) lost 0.30 percent to end at NT$33.60.

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