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Taiwan Stock Market May Extend Gains On Monday

The Taiwan stock market has moved higher now in back-to-back sessions, collecting almost 240 points or 3.2 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange jumped above the 7,325-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting continued growth at the opening of trade on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat in a positive response to the retail surge that accompanied Black Friday, as well as better than expected economic data from Germany. Retailers were very busy on Black Friday as the holiday shopping season officially got underway. Positive sentiment also may be generated by a report from the Ifo Institute showing an unexpected improvement in German business confidence. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion on Monday.

The TSE finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the plastic, finance, technology, textile, construction, food, cement and paper sectors.

For the day, the index surged 220.25 points or 3.09 percent to finish at the daily high of 7,326.01 after trading as low as 7,148.97 on turnover of 84.13 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the gainers, United Microelectronics Corp. surged by the 7 percent daily limit, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. spiked 4.60 percent, Nan Ya Plastics climbed 6.39 percent, Formosa Plastics jumped 2.70 percent, Fubon Financial collected 3.40 percent and Cathay Financial added 2.57 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks saw significant strength on Friday, with technology stocks helping to lead the way. The gains extended the strong upward move seen earlier in the holiday-interrupted week as traders continued to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the sell-off after the elections.

Positive sentiment was also generated by a report from the Ifo Institute showing an unexpected improvement in German business confidence. The headline German business climate index rose to 101.4 in November from 100 in October, while economists had expected the index to fall to 99.5.

Investors also kept an eye on developments in the retail sector, attempting to gauge the strength of the holiday shopping season on reports regarding the Black Friday crowds. A number of retailers opened their doors even earlier than usual this year in order to increase sales on what is already one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

However, the upward move may have been exaggerated by light volume, which came as many traders remained away from their desks amid the abbreviated trading session.

Among individual stocks, shares of Research in Motion (RIMM) moved sharply higher following bullish comments from an analyst at National Bank. RIM jumped 13.7 percent to a six-month closing high.

The major U.S. averages were sharply higher in Friday's abbreviated post-Thanksgiving session as the Dow jumped 172.79 points or 1.4 percent to finish at 13,009.68, while the NASDAQ soared 40.30 points or 1.4 percent to end at 2,966.85 and the S&P 500 surged 18.12 points or 1.3 percent to close at 1,409.15.

For the week, the major averages all posted notable gains. The Dow advanced 3.3 percent, while the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 climbed 4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

In economic news, Taiwan's industrial production rose 4.56 percent on year in October compared to forecast of a 2.6 percent rise, the Ministry of Economics said on Friday, following a 3 percent gain in September. Manufacturing output gained 4.5 percent year-on-year, while mining and quarrying production decreased 4.46 percent. Production and supply of electricity and gas declined 1.51 percent.

The statistical department also reported that Taiwan's commercial sales, including trade at wholesale and retail stores, decreased 0.7 percent in October on an annual basis. Wholesale trade fell 1.6 percent and retail sales gained 2 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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