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Taiwan shares retreat after losses posted on Wall Street

TAIPEI -- Shares in Taiwan pulled back Friday, closing well below the 8,600-point mark as investors were influenced by overnight losses on Wall Street, dealers said.

Large-cap stocks across the board came under heavy pressure, keeping the market's benchmark index below the previous day's close throughout the session, even as select small-cap stocks in the green energy sector got a boost from rising demand, dealers said.

The Taiwan stock exchange's weighted index closed down 66.00 points, or 0.76 percent, at 8,546.54, after moving between 8,537.86 and 8,584.74, on turnover of NT$92.60 billion (US$3.10 billion).

The market opened down 0.32 percent after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.82 percent overnight, and selling then accelerated, with pressure on market heavyweights such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) pulling the index down further, dealers said.

“It was no surprise that the local market followed Wall Street,” Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy Hsu said. “It seemed that the market has encountered stiff technical resistance since the index breached 8,600 points earlier this week.

“The latest losses have made the market technically weaker, so the index could fall further over the next few sessions,” the analyst said.

Hsu said the local market could test the nearest technical support level at around 8,500 points next week before staging a rebound.

Following the tech-heavy Nasdaq index's fall overnight, the local bellwether electronics sector ended down 0.72 percent, with TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, closing down 1.91 percent at NT$102.50.

“As long as TSMC remained weak, the broader market was lackluster,” Hsu said. “I suggest investors keep their hands off large-cap semiconductor stocks for now as they are undergoing first-quarter inventory adjustments.”

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