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Taiwan Stock Market Due For Consolidation

The Taiwan stock market has climbed higher in two straight sessions, surging almost 660 points or 4 percent in that span. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now sits just above the 16,360-point plateau although investors figure to lock in gains on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative, with more profit taking expected after recent gains. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The TSE finished sharply higher on Wednesday with gains across the board after returning from the long Lunar New Year break - especially the financials, plastics and technology stocks.

For the day, the index soared 559.89 points or 3.54 percent to finish at 16,362.29 after trading between 16,197.45 and 16,406.78.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial gained 3.33 percent, while Mega Financial jumped 2.08 percent, CTBC Financial collected 2.58 percent, Fubon Financial soared 4.26 percent, First Financial collected 0.97 percent, E Sun Financial gathered 2.49 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company spiked 4.91 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation surged 8.88 percent, Hon Hai Precision added 0.44 percent, Largan Precision accelerated 3.28 percent, Catcher Technology climbed 1.04 percent, MediaTek rallied 3.16 percent, Formosa Plastic skyrocketed 7.13 percent, Asia Cement rose 0.61 percent and Taiwan Cement improved 0.98 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened in the red on Wednesday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow was able to finish in the green.

The Dow gained 90.27 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 31,613.02, while the NASDAQ sank 82.00 points or 0.58 percent to end at 13,965.50 and the S&P 500 eased 1.26 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,931.33.

The early weakness on Wall Street followed the release of a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data, which painted a positive picture of the economy but also added to recent inflation concerns.

The Commerce Department said retail sales spiked 5.3 percent in January, while the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected last month and the Labor Department said producer prices jumped much more than expected in January.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting also signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future, offsetting concerns about the impact of inflation.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday amid rising concerns over likely disruptions in supply due to severe cold weather in Texas. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.09 or 1.8 percent at $61.14 a barrel.

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