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Taiwan Stock Market May Spin Its Wheels On Friday

The Taiwan stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 260 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 11,000-point plateau although it's likely to be stuck in neutral on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, with profit taking expected following recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The TSE finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and cement stocks, while the technology companies were mixed.

For the day, the index gathered 100.51 points or 0.92 percent to finish at 11,008.31 after trading between 10,933.21 and 11,021.66.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial added 0.76 percent, while Mega Financial collected 0.65 percent, CTBC Financial fell 0.25 percent, Fubon Financial advanced 1.07 percent, First Financial gained 0.45 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company climbed 1.19 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation soared 3.03 percent, Hon Hai Precision rose 0.27 percent, Largan Precision jumped 1.55 percent, Catcher Technology tumbled 2.99 percent, MediaTek skidded 1.17 percent, Formosa Plastic perked 0.12 percent, Taiwan Cement and Asia Cement both increased 0.23 percent and E Sun Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before finally slipping firmly into negative territory.

The Dow shed 101.78 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 24,474.12, while the NASDAQ sank 90.90 points or 0.97 percent to 9.284.88 and the S&P 55 fell 23.10 points or 0.78 percent to end at 2,948.51.

The weakness on Wall Street was partly due to profit taking, as some traders cashed in on the strong gains posted on Monday and Wednesday.

Traders were also reacting to a Labor Department report showing initial jobless claims pulled back further off their record high but remain at an elevated level.

Also, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing another steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in April.

Crude oil prices moved up Thursday, extending recent gains amid continued optimism about a pickup in energy demand and falling supply levels in the market. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose $0.43 or 1.3 percent at $33.92 a barrel.

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