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Taiwan Stock Market Overdue For Support

The Taiwan stock market has ended lower in three straight sessions, tumbling more than 450 points or 4.6 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 9,680-point plateau and it's due for a positive bounce on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with bargain hunting and interest rate optimism offset by tumbling crude oil prices and trade concerns, The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses ended mixed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The TSE finished sharply lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and cement companies.

For the day, the index tumbled 232.02 points or 2.34 percent to finish at 9,684.72 after trading between 9,664.75 and 9,850.08 on turnover of 142.82 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, Largan Precision plummeted 9.94 percent, while Catcher Technology plunged 9.89 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company tumbled 2.65 percent, Hon Hai Precision skidded 3.63 percent, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering retreated 4.94 percent, MediaTek declined 6.1 percent, Asia Cement was down 1.92 percent, Taiwan Cement slid 0.57 percent, Cathay Financial shed 0.31 percent, Mega Financial eased 0.19 percent, Fubon Financial lost 0.72 percent and CTBC Financial fell 0.49 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks shrugged off a sharply lower open on Thursday, rebounding to finish mixed.

The Dow shed 79.40 points or 0.32 percent to 24,947.67. while the NASDAQ added 29.83 points or 0.42 percent to 7,188.26 and the S&P 500 fell 4.11 points or 0.15 percent to 2,695.95.

The rebound was partly attributed to reports that Federal Reserve officials are considering a "wait-and-see mentality" after a likely interest rate hike later this month. Traders also went bargain hunting following the early sell-off.

In economic news, payroll processor ADP said private sector employment increased less than expected in November. Also, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell less than expected in the week ended December 1.

The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit widened to its highest level in ten years in October. Also, the Institute for Supply Management noted acceleration in the pace of growth in service sector activity in November.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Thursday as OPEC postponed a decision about output reduction to later today. Crude oil futures for January ended down $1.40 or 2.7 percent at $51.49 a barrel, after declining to a low of $50.11 a barrel.

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