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FSC to permit 2-way day trading in late Feb.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Top financial officials said the government is mulling further relaxation of day trading regulations, saying that it might soon allow investors to conduct either buy-then-sell or sell-and-buy back on 200 tranches of stocks in Taiwan.

Boosted by non high-technology stocks, Taiwan's weighted index rose 0.14 percent at 8,700.1 on Monday, and is expected to continue to fluctuate between 8,500 and 8,800 points in the next few sessions.

Shares in Taiwan ended slightly above 8,700 points Monday amid marginal gains.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 12.47 points, or 0.14 percent, at 8,700.1, after moving between 8,661.49 and 8,708.40 on turnover of NT$85.51 billion.

The stock index is expected to continue to fluctuate between 8,500 and 8,800 points in the next few sessions due to weak upward momentum in the global economy, Mega International Investment Services analyst Alex Huang told the Central News Agency (CNA).

The paper and pulp, cement, and foodstuff sectors scored the highest gains among the eight major stock categories Monday, finishing up 0.5 percent. Textiles, plastics and chemicals added 0.2 percent while machinery and electronics gained 0.1 percent. Construction and financials stocks ended flat.

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) told local media yesterday that it will call a meeting on further easing restrictions on day trading at the end of this month.

Tseng said that after weighing the systemic risk of the overall market, the FSC is set to allow investors to conduct two-way day trading on 200 stocks. Two-way day trading includes buy-then-sell or sell-and-buy back on a certain stock on the same day.

He said the FSC came to this initial decision after considering advice from Taiwan's financial industry, adding that a related meeting will be convened this week. It is widely believed that further relaxation of day trading will be announced later this month.

Ukraine Does Not Directly Impact Taiwan's Foreign Trade: Tseng

The outcome of a referendum in Crimea, in which the overwhelming majority of voters favored seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia, was consistent with market expectations and will not have much impact on international stock markets, Alex Huang told the CNA.

Thanks to a steady economic recovery in Europe and the United States, the tense situation in Ukraine has had no immediate impact on Taiwan's exports and imports either, according to Tseng.

Tseng added that unless the tensions between Ukraine and its massive neighbor Russia escalate to a point that seriously disrupts the global financial market and world supply chains, Taiwan's exports and imports will remain largely unaffected.

Trade between Taiwan and Ukraine has been limited, totaling US$363 million in 2013 and leaving Taiwan with a surplus of US$43 million, statistics from the Bureau of Foreign Trade showed.

Taiwan's main exports to Ukraine are information and telecommunications equipment and steel and car components, while Ukraine mainly sells chemicals, oil, steel and agricultural products to Taiwan. Russia, meanwhile, was Taiwan's 20th-largest trade partner last year, when bilateral trade reached US$4.74 billion with Taiwan seeing a deficit of US$1.75 billion.

Electric engineering equipment, car components and plastic products made up the bulk of Taiwan's exports to Russia, while Taiwan imported mainly diesel oil, steel and coal from Russia.

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Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) speaks in the Legislature, yesterday. Tseng said that the FSC will call a meeting to deliberate on whether or not to further ease restrictions on day trading. The decision will be announced by the end of the month, he said.

(CNA)

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