The Taiwan stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five trading days since the end of the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than 105 points or 1.5 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange finished just above the 7,190-point plateau, and now traders are anticipating additional support when the market opens on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic after many of the regional bourses were brutally oversold last week - although the bargain hunting may be limited by persistent concerns from Europe. Spain may see another economic contraction in the second quarter of this year, Economy Minister Luis De Guindos reportedly said on Monday. The minister also denied that Spain needs any kind of external aid for its banking sector. The European and U.S. markets were higher on Monday and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.
The TSE finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the finance, technology, cement, construction, textile, plastic and food sectors.
For the day, the index collected 41.04 points or 0.57 percent to finish at 7,192.23 after trading between 7,220.10 and 7,164.90 on turnover of 53.59 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,886 decliners and 1,816 gainers, with 518 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, Yulon Motor added 1.06 percent, while China Motor collected 0.20 percent, Gintech Energy surged by the 7 percent daily limit, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gathered 0.86 percent, HTC climbed 1.62 percent, Mega Financial Holding jumped 1.20 percent, Chinatrust Financial Holding spiked 1.49 percent, TPK Holding surged 6.5 percent and Largan Precision soared 2.39 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks saw significant strength on Monday, regaining some ground after falling to a four-month low on Friday. The markets benefited from bargain hunting but remain sharply lower for the month of May. The Dow ended a six-session losing streak, although it still marked just its second gain in fourteen sessions.
Trading activity was subdued, as lingering concerns about Europe and a lack of major U.S. economic data kept some traders on the sidelines. While reports on home sales, durable goods orders, and consumer sentiment will be in focus later this week along with earnings news from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), and Best Buy (BBY), trading activity may remain light.
Among individual stocks, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) posted a strong gain after the apparel retailer announced plans to exit its children's business 77kids. Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) also ended the day higher after the online media giant announced that it is selling up to half of its stake in Alibaba back to the Chinese e-commerce company for about $7.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Lowe's (LOW) posted a steep loss after the home improvement retailer reported better than expected first quarter results but lowered its full year earnings guidance. Shares of Facebook (FB) also came under pressure, with the social media giant tumbling by 11 percent following its glitch-plagued debut on Friday.
The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session just off their highs. The Dow rose 135.10 points or 1.1 percent to finish at 12,504.48, while the NASDAQ jumped 68.42 points or 2.5 percent to end at 2,847.21 and the S&P 500 climbed 20.77 points or 1.6 percent to 1,315.99.
In economic news, Taiwan's current account surplus rose to $10.93 billion in the first quarter from $10.65 billion in the same period last year, the central bank said on Monday. In the fourth quarter, the trade balance was a surplus of $12.3 billion.
The goods trade account showed a surplus of $5.89 billion during the three-month period, higher than the $5.38 billion surplus recorded a year earlier. The surplus in the services account dropped to $0.89 billion from $1.19 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
Also, Taiwan's export orders were down 3.52 percent on year in April, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday, while economists were looking for a 0.51 percent rise. Month-on-month, overall orders dropped 5.95 percent largely due to decline in demand for chemical, textile, and electronic products.
by RTT Staff Writer
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