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Local market above 9,500 points after S&P high

TAIPEI--Shares in Taiwan staged a rebound Monday to close above the 9,500-point mark as investors took cues from a fresh record high posted by the S&P 500 index at the end of last week to buy local stocks, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 76.79 points, or 0.81 percent at 9,513.06, after moving between 9,472.96 and 9,532.66 on turnover of NT$86.57 billion (US$2.89 billion). It was the first time the index had ended above 9,500 points since July 24.

Investors on Fence

"Despite the gains, turnover in the local market remained thin, as many investors stayed on the sidelines amid fears over a possible technical pullback with the index coming closer to 9,600 points," President Securities analyst Vickie Hsieh said.

"Unless the turnover expands to about NT$120 billion or higher, it will not be easy for the local index to surmount the technical hurdles," she said.

Buying rotated to the semiconductor sector, with several large-cap integrated circuit (IC) stocks, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC,台灣積體電路), up on hopes that solid demand for mobile devices will boost IC shipments, the dealers said.

The financial sector also attracted interest, giving a further boost to the broader market as investors expected that financial firms will witness improvements in profits in the second half of this year, they added.

The market opened up 0.40 percent in the wake of the latest gains on Wall Street, and momentum accelerated, with semiconductor heavyweights making a strong comeback to help the index breach 9,500 points, the dealers said, adding that the strength continued into the end of the session.

"Electronics stocks, in particular semiconductor firms, served as the mainstream sector behind today's gains. Many investors simply took advantage of the IC sector's relatively low valuation after recent consolidation," Hsieh said.

The semiconductor sub-index closed up 2.81 percent to push the entire electronics sector up 1.21 percent at the close.

U.S. dollar closes at NT$29.968 on Taipei forex

The U.S. dollar fell against the Taiwan dollar Monday, shedding NT$0.002 to close at NT$29.968 after the local market staged a rebound to push up the index above 9,500 points, dealers said.

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