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Rebound Called For Taiwan Stock Market

The Taiwan stock market on Friday halted the three-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 720 points or 4.5 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now sits just above the 16,340-point plateau although it may bounce higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests a touch of upside, with stimulus optimism tempered by inflation concerns. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The TSE finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the technology stocks, support from the cement companies and a mixed picture from the financials.

For the day, the index shed 83.12 points or 0.51 percent to finish at 16,341.38 after trading between 16,211.25 and 16,382.70.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial sank 0.83 percent, while Mega Financial fell 0.34 percent, CTBC Financial advanced 1.00 percent, Fubon Financial eased 0.20 percent, First Financial collected 0.24 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company skidded 1.21 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation tumbled 1.72 percent, Hon Hai Precision tanked 2.65 percent, Largan Precision surged 4.77 percent, Catcher Technology shed 0.52 percent, MediaTek retreated 1.43 percent, Formosa Plastic lost 0.63 percent, Asia Cement climbed 1.33 percent, Taiwan Cement gained 0.60 percent and E Sun Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Friday, finishing on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The Dow rose 1.02 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 31,494.32, while the NASDAQ added 9.11 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,874.46 and the S&P 500 dipped 7.26 points or 0.19 percent to close at 3,906.71. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.6 percent and the S&P fell 0.7 percent.

Continued optimism about more fiscal stimulus fueled the early strength on Wall Street, as new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. urged lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.

However, buying interest waned amid a jump in treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reading its highest closing level in almost a year - spurring concerns for the outlook for interest rates amid potentially higher inflation.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported another unexpected increase in U.S. existing home sales in January.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as worries about supply disruptions eased after most of the oil companies in Texas prepared to resume production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $1.28 or 2.1 percent at $59.24 a barrel.

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