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Taiwan Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam

The Taiwan stock market has tracked higher in consecutive trading days, gathering more than 40 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 10,785-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on pessimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down Friday and now the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The TSE finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the cement companies and mixed performances from the financials and technology stocks.

For the day, the index added 9.83 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 10,785.73 after trading between 10,756.67 and 10,812.38.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial slid 0.35 percent, while CTBC Financial collected 0.70 percent, Fubon Financial dipped 0.11 percent, First Financial rose 0.22 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shed 0.41 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation and Taishin Financial both fell 0.35 percent, Hon Hai Precision and Mega Financial both added 0.64 percent, Largan Precision eased 0.13 percent, AsusTek Computer jumped 1.75 percent, Catcher Technology spiked 2.68 percent, MediaTek perked 0.63 percent, Asia Cement advanced 1.79 percent, Taiwan Cement gathered 0.54 percent and Formosa Plastic and Formosa Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower Friday, recovered as the day progressed but still ended in the red.

The Dow shed 43.88 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 26,922.12, while the NASDAQ lost 8.44 points or 0.10 percent to 8,161.79 and the S&P 500 fell 5.41 points or 0.18 percent to 2,990.41. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the NASDAQ surged 1.9 percent and the S&P rose 1.7 percent.

The early pullback followed the release of the Labor Department report showing a substantial growth in U.S. employment in June. While the data points to a rebound in the labor market, the report dampened investor hopes for a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday but saw a loss of 1.6 percent for the week as traders continued to weigh the commodity's near-term supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.51 a barrel.

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