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Consolidation Likely For Taiwan Stock Market

The Taiwan stock market has closed higher now in back-to-back sessions, surging almost 200 points or 2.8 percent in that span. The Taiwan Stock Exchange finished just above the 7,675-point plateau, although now traders are expected to lock in gains when the market opens on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed with a downside bias, thanks to profit-taking and soft employment data out of the United States. Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing reported much weaker than expected private sector job growth. Adding to the cautious sentiment are several weaker than expected manufacturing reports in Europe, in addition to a jump in the Eurozone's unemployment rate. The European and U.S. markets were mixed to lower, and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The TSE finished sharply higher on Wednesday following big gains from the technology, textile, cement, finance, food, paper and plastic stocks.

For the day, the index surged 175.09 points or 2.33 percent to finish at 7,676.81 after trading between 7,511.76 and 7,679.07 on turnover of 129.67 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the gainers, Largan Precision and Asustek both spiked by the 7 percent daily limit, while HTC jumped 6.66 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks turned mixed on Wednesday after initially moving lower on the weaker than expected data, with traders eventually shrugging off a disappointing private sector jobs report.

Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing said that private sector employment increased by 119,000 jobs in April following a downwardly revised increase of 201,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected an increase of 183,000 jobs compared to the addition of 209,000 jobs originally reported for March. The data raised some concerns about Friday's more closely watched monthly employment report from the Labor Department.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that new orders for manufactured goods fell by 1.5 percent in March following a 1.1 percent increase in February. Orders had been expected to decrease by 1.6 percent.

In corporate news, MasterCard (MA) reported better than expected first quarter results - although revelation of an increase in rebates and incentives may have raised concerns about future results. Cable giant Comcast (CMCSA) also ended the day in the red despite reporting stronger than expected first quarter earnings growth.

Meanwhile, shares of Standard Microsystems (SMSC) moved sharply higher after agreeing to be acquired by Microchip Technology (MCHP) for $829 million in cash. Charming Shoppes (CHRS) also posted a substantial gain after the retailer agreed to be acquired by Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) for $890 million in cash.

The major U.S. averages finished mixed as the NASDAQ rose 9.41 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 3,059.85, while the Dow edged down 10.75 points or 0.1 percent to end at 13,268.57 and the S&P 500 dipped 3.51 points or 0.3 percent to 1,402.31.

In economic news, Taiwan's manufacturing sector continued to expand in April, but at a weaker pace, data from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The headline HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snap-shot of the health of the manufacturing sector - posted 51.2 in April, down from 54.1 in March.

Production advanced for the third month, but the pace was weaker than in March. Likewise, new business volume improved at a slower pace in April. Despite output growth being faster than that of new orders, firms continued to accumulate backlogs of work in April.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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