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Taiwan Stock Market May Extend Its Losses

Ahead of the long holiday weekend for Children's Day and the Qingming Festival, the Taiwan stock market had turned lower again - one day after it had ended the two-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 100 points or 1.1 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 9,660-point plateau and it figures to open in the red again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative thanks to ever-increasing coronavirus concerns and an expected tumble in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The TSE finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares and cement stocks, while the technology companies were mixed.

For the day, the index dipped 44.43 points or 0.46 percent to finish at the daily low of 9,663.63 after peaking at 9,736.00.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial eased 0.14 percent, while Mega Financial skidded 1.41 percent, CTBC Financial lost 0.84 percent, Fubon Financial fell 0.40 percent, First Financial sank 0.76 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shed 0.91 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation climbed 1.10 percent, Hon Hai Precision rose 0.14 percent, Largan Precision tumbled 1.83 percent, Catcher Technology accelerated 3.07 percent, MediaTek spiked 1.98 percent, Asia Cement retreated 2.03 percent, Taiwan Cement declined 1.27 percent, Formosa Plastic was down 0.93 percent and E Sun Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is weak as stocks opened lower on Friday and moved deeper into negative territory as the day progressed.

The Dow shed 360.91 points or 1.69 percent to finish at 21,052.53, while the NASDAQ lost 114.23 points or 1.53 percent to 7,373.08 and the S&P 500 fell 38.25 points or 1.51 percent to 2,488.65. For the week, the Dow lost 2.7 percent, the NASDAQ fell 1.7 percent and the S&P sank 2.1 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street came after a Labor Department report showed that employment in the U.S. fell much more than expected in March - sending the jobless rate up to 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent in February.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, climbing for a second straight day on rising hopes of deep production cuts by major oil producers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $3.02 or 12 percent at $28.34 a barrel.

OPEC was supposed to meet today in a conference that would have included Russia and Saudi Arabia, who are at the center of the current production dispute. But the meeting was postponed by rising tensions between the two, setting up crude for heavy losses today.

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