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Taiwan Stock Market May Reverse Thursday's Winnings

The Taiwan stock market has climbed higher in two of three trading days since the end of the four-day losing streak in which it had retreated almost 200 points or 1.8 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 10,820-point plateau although it may hand back those gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative after U.S. Donald Trump officially imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports - while tumbling crude oil prices add to the soft sentiment. The European and U.S. markets were up, but the Asian markets are expected to head lower.

The TSE finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the technology, finance and steel stocks.

For the day, the index collected 77.92 points or 0.73 percent to finish at 10,823.24 after trading between 10,788.43 and 10,852.23 on turnover of 120.48 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, AU Optronics surged 5.41 percent, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company climbed 1.01 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation skyrocketed 9.96 percent, Hon Hai Precision jumped 1.02 percent, Innolux soared 3.54 percent, Largan Precision added 0.68 percent, Cathay Financial shed 0.19 percent, Fubon Financial collected 0.20 percent, Mega Financial jumped 1.84 percent, Taiwan Steel Union perked 2.36 percent and China Steel was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks fluctuated on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing in positive territory.

The Dow added 93.85 points or 0.38 percent to 24,895.21, while the NASDAQ gained 31.30 points or 0.42 percent and the S&P 500 was up 12.17 points or 0.45 percent to 2,738.97.

The higher close came after Trump officially signed proclamations imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The choppy trading also came as traders looked ahead to the release of the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report later today - which may have a bearing on the FOMC's interest rate forecast.

Ahead of the monthly report, the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected rebound in initial jobless claims in the week ended March 3.

Traders also digested the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy decision, with the ECB leaving rates unchanged, as expected. The ECB's accompanying statement removed a phrase indicating a willingness to increase its asset purchase program if necessary.

Crude oil futures tumbled Thursday on fears that the U.S. dollar will strengthen on rising interest rates. April WTI oil was down $1.03 or 1.7 percent to settle at $60.12/bbl, the lowest in three weeks.

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