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Tech Shares Expected To Boost Taiwan Stocks

The Taiwan stock market has climbed higher in four straight sessions, jumping almost 500 points or 3 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now sits just above the 16,925-point plateau and it's looking at another green light for Friday's trade.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, with technology stocks expected to lead the way. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The TSE finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the technology stocks, weakness from the financials and a mixed picture from the cement companies.

For the day, the index gained 111.04 points or 0.66 percent to finish at 16,926.44 after trading between 16,735.78 and 16,926.72.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial shed 0.73 percent, while Mega Financial lost 0.78 percent, CTBC Financial sank 0.91 percent, Fubon Financial skidded 1.04 percent, First Financial fell 0.45 percent, E Sun Financial rose 0.19 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company added 0.49 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation soared 4.85 percent, Hon Hai Precision dropped 0.81 percent, Largan Precision spiked 3.33 percent, Catcher Technology climbed 1.46 percent, MediaTek rallied 2.20 percent, Asia Cement dipped 0.21 percent, Taiwan Cement was up 0.21 percent and Formosa Plastic and Uni-President Enterprises were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday - especially the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

The Dow added 57.31 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 33,503.57, while the NASDAQ jumped 140.47 points or 1.03 percent to end at 13,829.31 and the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points or 0.42 percent to close at 4,097.17.

The strength among tech stocks came following the Federal Reserve's repeated assurances that monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Stocks saw continued strength following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks, which said the economic recovery remains uneven and incomplete and that further coronavirus outbreaks could slow the pace of the recovery.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week.

Crude oil prices eased on Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases and lockdown measures in several countries. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May dipped $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $59.60 a barrel.

Closer to home, Taiwan will release March numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are tipped to rise 12.1 percent on year after gaining 5.7 percent in February. Exports are called higher by an annual 17.4 percent, accelerating from 9.7 percent in the previous month. The trade surplus is pegged at $4.556 billion, up from $4.510 billion a month earlier.

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