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Additional Upside Called For Taiwan Stock Market

The Taiwan stock market has closed higher now in three straight sessions, climbing more than 60 points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange finished just above the 7,660-point plateau, and now investors are anticipating further support when the market kicks off trade on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat in anticipation of solid GDP data from China this morning. Also, the European Central Bank said that inflation in Eurozone is subject to upside risks and it is ready with all the tools necessary to address them "in a firm and timely manner." In corporate news, Internet giant Google Inc. said that its first quarter profit rose 61 percent from last year. The European and U.S. markets finished firmly higher, and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The TSE finished barely higher on Thursday as gains from the finance, technology and paper stocks were offset by losses from the construction, plastic and textile sectors.

For the day, the index collected 6.25 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 7,662.92 after trading between 7,599.00 and 7,673.84 on turnover of 74.19 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 2,133 gainers and 1,567 decliners, with 574 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the gainers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. added 0.24 percent, while Hon Hai Precision Industry collected 0.44 percent, MediaTek gathered 0.36 percent, Everlight Electronics spiked 3.90 percent and Epistar surged 4.17 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks extended gains from the previous session on Thursday, continuing to recover from the sell-off earlier in the week.

The support followed a Commerce Department report showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $46.0 billion in February from $52.5 billion in January. Economists had been expected a trade deficit of about $51.7 billion. The data indicated that trade wasn't as big of a drag on first quarter GDP growth as previously anticipated, and led Capital Economics to raise its first quarter GDP growth estimate to 2.5 percent from 2.0 percent.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Labor Department showing initial jobless claims rose to 380,000 in the week ended April 7 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. Economists had expected claims to edge up to 359,000 from the 357,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department also reported that its producer price index was unchanged in March following a 0.4 percent increase in February, versus forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the core producer price index rose 0.3 percent in March after edging up 0.2 percent in February, in line with expectations.

In corporate news, shares of Sony (SNE) ended lower after the consumer electronics giant said it will cut about 10,000 jobs in fiscal 2012 as part of a turnaround plan.

The major averages closed firmly in positive territory, near their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 181.19 points or 1.4 percent to finish at 12,986.58, while the NASDAQ surged 39.09 points or 1.3 percent to 3,055.05 and the S&P 500 soared 18.86 points or 1.4 percent to 1,387.57.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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