The Taiwan stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the seven-day winning streak in which it had surged more than 425 points or 5.8 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange ended just above the 7,725-point plateau, and now investors are looking for little movement when the market opens on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed with little movement and a slight downside bias - although the downside may be limited by bargain hunting following steep losses in the previous session. Mixed economic data from the United States adds to the uncertainty. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The TSE finished modestly lower on Thursday following weakness from the cement, textile, plastic, technology, food, finance, paper and construction sectors.
For the day, the index lost 54.36 points or 0.69 percent to finish at 7,727.55 after trading between 7,704.61 and 7,785.47 on turnover of 80.34 billion Taiwan dollars.
Among the decliners, Hon Hai Precision shed 0.93 percent, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. fell 0.81 percent, HTC dropped 1.45 percent, Taiwan Cement dipped 1.95 percent and Far Eastern New Century retreated 2.06 percent.
The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks staged a notable recovery attempt over the course of the trading day after moving to the downside in early trading on Thursday. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day, eventually ending the session mixed.
Disappointing data contributed to the early weakness, with the Labor Department reporting that jobless claims came in above estimates in the week ended September 15. Jobless claims edged down to 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 373,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Traders remained reluctant to make any significant moves amid continued uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets.
The afternoon recovery followed a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showing that its index of regional manufacturing activity rose by more than expected. The Philly Fed said its diffusion index of current activity rose to a negative 1.9 in September from a negative 7.1 in August, although a negative reading still indicates a contraction in regional manufacturing activity.
Among individual stocks, shares of Adobe Systems (ADBE) moved higher even though the publishing and design software developer reported weaker than expected Q3 revenues and forecast fourth quarter results below estimates. Denbury Resources (DNR) also posted strong gain after announcing an agreement to sell its Bakken assets in North Dakota and Montana to Exxon Mobil (XOM) for $1.6 billion.
The major U.S. markets were mixed but little changed on Thursday as the Dow crept up 18.97 points or 0.1 percent to finish at 13,596.93, while the NASDAQ fell 6.66 points or 0.2 percent to end at 3,175.96 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.79 points or 0.1 percent to close at 1,460.26.
In economic news, Taiwan's central bank on Thursday retained its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the fifth consecutive quarter, citing risks to growth from weakening external demand. The decision was in line with economists' expectations.
The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) kept its discount rate unchanged at 1.875 percent at the latest rate-setting session. The bank also maintained its secured loan rate at 2.25 percent and the unsecured loan rate at 4.125 percent.
Also, Taiwan export orders declined less than economists' expected for August, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Thursday. Export orders fell 1.53 percent on year in August, smaller than the predicted 1.9 percent drop. On month, orders rose only 0.6 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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