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Bargain Hunting May Lift Taiwan Stock Market

The Taiwan stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, sliding more than 30 points or 0.3 percent in that span. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 10,065-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to surging oil prices and optimism for the outlook on global trade. The European and U.S. markets finished in the green and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The TSE finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financials, technology stocks and cement companies.

For the day, the index shed 24.23 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 10,064.78 after trading between 10,055.50 and 10,135.16.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial shed 0.79 percent, while Fubon Financial lost 0.22 percent, CTBC Financial fell 0.73 percent, Mega Financial dipped 0.38 percent, First Financial retreated 0.49 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation added 0.88 percent, Largan Precision declined 1.50 percent, Hon Hai Precision skidded 1.54 percent, AsusTek Computer dropped 1.53 percent, Catcher Technology eased 0.42 percent, Asia Cement dipped 0.26 percent, Taiwan Cement was down 0.13 percent and Taiwan Steel Union, Formosa Plastic and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Friday as the major averages ended at multi-month closing highs.

The Dow jumped 443.86 points or 1.74 percent to 25,883.25, the NASDAQ added 45.46 points or 0.61 percent to 7,472.41 and the S&P 500 gained 29.87 points or 1.09 percent to 2,775.60. For the week, the Dow spiked 3.1 percent, the NASDAQ climbed 2.4 percent and the S&P rose 2.5 percent.

The strength on Wall Street came amid continued optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China. A statement from the White House said high level U.S.-China trade talks this week led to progress between the two parties.

In economic news, the University of Michigan noted a bigger than expected rebound in consumer sentiment in February. Also, the Federal Reserve reported an unexpected decrease in industrial production in January.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, lifted by data showing declines in crude output from OPEC. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.18 or 2.2 percent at $55.59 a barrel, a three-month high.

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