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Local market extends earlier losses, TSMC stock leading

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Shares in Taiwan extended losses Thursday from a session earlier, as heavy selling in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,台積電) led the broader market to trend lower, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 76.49 points, or 0.8 percent, at 9,408.24, after moving between 9,373.87 and 9,461.82 on turnover of NT$124.19 billion (US$4.14 billion).

Funds Scramble for Financial Haven

Largan Precision Co. (大立光), a smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., also came under stiff downward pressure, which sent the index even lower as investors turned cautious ahead of an investor conference scheduled to open after the close of the day's trading, the dealers said.

However, after feeling the pinch of the downturn in the high-tech sector, investors sought to park their funds in the financial sector, which helped the broader market fend off some of the selling, they added.

The market opened down 0.68 percent as investors rushed to dump TSMC shares, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, amid concerns that the Taiwanese chip maker will lag behind Samsung Electronics Co. in the 16 nanometer process and that Qualcomm Inc. will shift its orders away from TSMC to the South Korean firm, the dealers said.

The order-loss fears resulted from comments Wednesday by TSMC Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) that the company's market share in the 16nm process will lag behind its rival in 2015.

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