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Taiwan Bourse Likely To Extend Losing Streak

The Taiwan stock market has finished lower in consecutive trading days, sliding almost 40 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 9,950-point plateau and it's expected to take further damage on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on geopolitical concerns, interest rate fears and a drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The TSE finished slightly lower on Thursday following weakness from the technology stocks, support from the steel mills and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index slid 25.41 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 9,953.73 after trading between 9,919.79 and 10,019.50 on turnover of 95.23 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, Hon Hai Precision plummeted 17.58 percent, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shed 0.84 percent, MediaTek added 0.22 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation tumbled 2.57 percent, Asustek Computer skidded 1.47 percent, Largan Precision fell 0.45 percent, Taiwan Steel Union soared 2.41 percent, China Steel picked up 0.41 percent, Taiwan Cement dropped 0.65 percent, Chunghwa Telecom gained 0.47 percent, Mega Financial dropped 1.13 percent, Fubon Financial fell 0.30 percent, CTBC Financial collected 0.48 percent, First Financial gained 0.25 percent and Formosa Plastic, Cathay Financial and Nan Ya Plastic were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks moved sharply lower on Thursday. The major averages attempted a recovery after seeing early weakness but saw a significant pullback as the day progressed.

The Dow shed 327.36 points or 1.27 percent to finish at 25,379.32, while the NASDAQ lost 157.56 points or 2.06 percent to 7,485.14 and the S&P fell 40.43 points or 1.44 percent to 2,768.78.

The sell-off on Wall Street came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will not attend an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia - which continues to face considerable international pressure over the disappearance and apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates also weighed on the markets as the Fed's forecasts point to one more rate hike before the end of this year - with more to follow in 2019.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 13. Also, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity grew at a slower rate in October. And the Conference Board said its index of leading U.S. economic indicators increased as expected in September.

Crude oil futures settled at a five-week low on Thursday, extending the previous session's losses due to a sharp jump in U.S. crude inventories. U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for November delivery ended down $1.10 or 1.6 percent at $68.65 a barrel.

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