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Local market ends above 8,900 points, led by electronics sector

TAIPEI--Shares in Taiwan closed above the 8,900-point mark Thursday as the bellwether electronics sector staged a rebound, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 107.21 points, or 1.2 percent, at the day's high of 8,969.63, off an early low of 8,899.82, on turnover of NT$86.29 billion (US$2.87 billion).

“The local market had consolidated for some time to digest downward pressure ahead of 8,900 points,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. “Investors simply seized the rise on Wall Street as a reason to buy.”

“Something worth mentioning was that the local market has turned technically healthier after today's significant rebound,” Huang said.

Many local investors felt relived after the U.S. Federal Reserve released the minutes of its April policymaking meeting that show the U.S. central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates, they said.

“As concerns over rate hikes by the Fed have been reduced, I expect buying in the local equity market will continue to push the index further higher in the short term,” Huang said.

The electronics sub-index closed up 1.60 percent as investors took cues from a 0.85-percent rise on the NASDAQ index to buy heavyweight Apple suppliers such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密) and Largan Precision Co. (大立光電), the dealers said.

Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple, rose 2.22 percent to close at NT$92.00, while smartphone camera lens supplier Largan gained 1.79 percent to end at NT$1,985.00.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台灣積體電路), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, added 1.24 percent to close at NT$122.00, while integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科技) gained 3.38 percent to end at NT$505.00.

Buying also spread to large-cap stocks in the old economy sector and the financial sector to push the index even higher, as the better-than-expected manufacturing activity for May in China lent additional support to investors' sentiment, the dealers said.

In the old economy sector, which was boosted by the latest China manufacturing activity data, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. rose 1.07 percent to close at NT$66.30 and Wei Chuan Foods Corp. (味全食品) gained 1.55 percent to end at NT$42.65.

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