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Technology Stocks Likely To Lift Taiwan Shares

Ahead of Friday's holiday for the Dragon Boat Festival, the Taiwan stock market had finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced almost 200 points or 2 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 10,410-point plateau although it figures to bounce higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on an improved outlook for interest rates and a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The TSE finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the technology stocks were mitigated by support from the financial shares and cement companies.

For the day, the index dropped 52.40 points or 0.50 percent to finish at 10,409.20 after trading between 10,371.08 and 10,429.33.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial fell 0.85 percent, while Mega Financial spiked 2.59 percent, CTBC Financial collected 0.48 percent, Fubon Financial rose 0.12 percent, First Financial advanced 0.89 percent, Taishin Financial was up 0.35 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company skidded 1.28 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation climbed 1.16 percent, Hon Hai Precision added 0.14 percent, Largan Precision plummeted 4.01 percent, AsusTek Computer shed 0.69 percent, Catcher Technology lost 0.26 percent, MediaTek tumbled 1.92 percent, Asia Cement gained 0.44 percent, Taiwan Cement perked 0.35 percent and Formosa Plastic and Formosa Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is solid as stocks extended recent gains, moving sharply higher on Friday.

The Dow climbed 263.28 points or 1.02 percent, while the NASDAQ spiked 126.55 points or 1.66 percent to 7,742.10 and the S&P 500 rose 29.85 points or 1.05 percent to 2,873.34. For the week, the Dow surged 4.7 percent, the NASDAQ jumped 3.9 percent and the S&P was up 4.4 percent.

The continued strength on Wall Street reflected optimism that disappointing U.S. jobs data could spur the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in the near future. The Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed a substantial slowdown in the pace of U.S. job growth in May.

Stocks remained firmly positive after President Donald Trump said there is a good chance the U.S. and Mexico will reach an agreement to avert his threatened 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher for a second straight session on Friday, amid signs OPEC will extend output cuts beyond June. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July ended up $1.40 or 2.7 percent at $53.99 a barrel.

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