The Taiwan stock market on Wednesday halted the three-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than 115 points or 1.6 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange ended just below the 7,740-point plateau, and now analysts are predicting continued gains at the opening of trade on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive thanks to optimism about the outlook for corporate earnings following the release of quarterly results from Alcoa, which unofficially kicked off the earnings season. The European and U.S. markets finished higher on Wednesday, and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion on Thursday.
The TSE finished modestly higher on Wednesday as gains from the technology, finance and paper stocks were offset by weakness from the cement, plastic and food sectors.
For the day, the index collected 16.98 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 7,738.64 after trading between 7,763.97 and 7,703.23 on turnover of 83.35 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 2,807 gainers and 2,087 decliners, with 491 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, MediaTek climbed 3.1 percent, while HTC jumped 1.63 percent, Largan Precision added 0.54 percent and Foxconn Technology gained 0.68 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved back to the upside on Wednesday after ending the two previous sessions in the red. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to quarterly results from Alcoa.
Alcoa reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of $0.06 per share compared to a year ago loss of $0.03 per share, matching estimates. The aluminum giant also reported Q4 revenues that came in above expectations and forecast a 7 percent increase in demand in 2013.
While shares of Alcoa rose as much as 2.5 percent at the open and reached a three-month high, the stock turned lower over the course of the trading day. Alcoa ended the session down by 0.2 percent.
The news from Alcoa generated some optimism about the unfolding earnings season, although traders still seemed reluctant to add to last week's substantial rally. A lack of major U.S. economic data helped to keep some traders on the sidelines.
Among individual stocks, shares of Clearwire (CLWR) moved higher after the wireless broadband operator received an unsolicited takeover bid from Dish Network (DISH) valuing the company at $3.30 per share. Clearwire jumped 7.2 percent on the day.
Social media giant Facebook (FB) also posted a strong gain after the company issued a mysterious invitation to journalists to "Come and see what we're building." Some are speculating that the company plans to unveil a Facebook phone.
The major U.S. averages were higher on Wednesday as the Dow rose 61.66 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 13,390.51, while the NASDAQ advanced 14.00 points or 0.5 percent to end at 3,105.81 and the S&P 500 climbed 3.87 points or 0.3 percent to close at 1,461.02.
by RTT Staff Writer
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