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Bargain Hunting May Lift Taiwan Stock Market

The Taiwan stock market has finished lower in four straight sessions, retreating almost 160 points or 1.5 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 10,680-point plateau although the misery may end on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, thanks to a slight bump in crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were slightly higher - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The TSE finished modestly lower on Monday as losses from the technology stocks were mitigated by support from the steel and cement companies. The financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index lost 48.75 points or 0.45 percent to finish at the daily low of 10,683.92 after peaking of 10,749.39 on turnover of 121.93 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, Hon Hai Precision and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company both shed 0.40 percent, while MediaTek tumbled 2.60 percent, AU Optronics fell 0.81 percent, Largan Precision lost 0.70 percent, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering added 0.20 percent, Cathay Financial climbed 1.00 percent, Mega Financial was unchanged, Fubon Financial eased 0.10 percent, CTBC Financial dipped 0.20 percent, Taiwan Steel picked up 0.80 percent and Taiwan Cement gained 0.30 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks opened lower but remained fairly rangebound on Monday before moving slightly higher, reversing gains from the previous session.

The Dow added 17.49 points or 0.07 percent to 23,439.70, while the NASDAQ gained 6.66 points or 0.10 percent to 6,757.60 and the S&P 500 was up 2.54 points or 0.10 percent to 2,584.84.

The initial weakness on Wall Street partly reflected concerns about the outlook for tax reform, but selling pressure was subdued amid a quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

Crude oil futures inched higher Monday, staying near two-year highs after OPEC predicted oil demand will surge in 2018. WTI light sweet crude oil was up 2 cents at $57.76 a barrel.

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