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Taiwan market retreats over selling in large-cap electronic-sector stocks

TAIPEI -- Shares in Taiwan closed lower Friday, putting an end to a four-session winning streak as investors locked in the gains they built in select electronics heavyweights over the past few sessions, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 43.02 points, or 0.46 percent, at the day's low of 9,273.79 off an early high of 9,339.83. Turnover totaled NT$96.35 billion (US$3.21 billion).

TSMC, MediaTek Lose Ground

Contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) were among the losing high-tech stocks.

Selling emerged in the old economy sector amid strong technical resistance after the local market index breached 9,300 points a day earlier, dealers added.

The market opened up 0.15 percent and rose to the day's high on follow-through buying from a session earlier, but investors immediately shifted to the sell side and dumped large-cap stocks across the board to pocket the gains they posted earlier in the week, dealers said.

“After the index closed above the 9,300 point mark yesterday, the local market has been faced with technical resistance,” KGI Securities analyst Phil Chu said.

“It was not surprising that shares in the local equity market stepped back today. Such a correction would help absorb downward pressure before the local market resumes an uptrend,” Chu said.

In the electronics sector, which closed down 0.60 percent, TSMC fell 1.19 percent to close at NT$124.50, while MediaTek lost 1.74 percent to end at NT$509.00. But dealers said the losses were just technical in nature and that faith remains in the two IC giants' fundamentals.

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