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Taiwan Shares Tipped To Open Under Pressure

The Taiwan stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five trading days since the end of the three-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 340 points or 3.7 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 9,760-point plateau although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on profit taking and a drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.

The TSE finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the technology stocks were capped by weakness from the financial sector.

For the day, the index collected 38.71 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 9,759.40 after trading between 9,736.00 and 9,796.98 on turnover of 93.82 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, CTBC Financial fell 0.50 percent, while Cathay Financial shed 0.65 percent, Mega Financial lost 0.38 percent, Fubon Financial tumbled 2.03 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company spiked 2.08 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation gained 0.45 percent, AsusTek Computer rose 0.45 percent, Largan Precision surged 8.23 percent, Hon Hai Precision added 0.14 percent, Asia Cement jumped 1.12 percent, Taiwan Cement dipped 0.41 percent, Formosa Plastics climbed 1.00 percent and AU Optronics, First Financial and Catcher Technology were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is slightly soft as stocks opened lower on Friday, staged a recovery in the afternoon but still finished barely in the red.

The Dow shed 5.97 points or 0.02 percent to 23,995.95, while the NASDAQ lost 14.59 points or 0.21 percent to 6,971.48 and the S&P 500 fell 0.38 points or 0.01 percent to 2,596.26. For the week, the Dow added 2.4 percent, the NASDAQ added 3.5 percent and the S&P rose 2.5 percent.

The early weakness on Wall Street was due to profit taking, with traders cashing in on gains from the five-day winning streak. Concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and skepticism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China also weighed.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight drop in consumer prices in December, while core consumer priced ticked slightly higher.

Crude oil futures ended lower Friday, snapping a nine-day winning streak as profit taking and worries about the slowing Chinese economy weighed on the commodity. Crude oil futures ended down $1.00 or 1.9 percent at $51.59 a barrel.

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