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Taiwan Stock Market May Extend Wednesday's Losses

The Taiwan stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last six trading days since the end of the five-day losing streak in which it had surrendered nearly 600 points or 5.5 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 9,980-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation thanks to a sharp drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The TSE finished barely lower on Wednesday following mixed performances from the financial shares, steel companies and the technology stocks.

For the day, the index eased 1.96 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 9,979.14 after trading between 9,978.25 and 10,127.01 on turnover of 114.04 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company added 0.63 percent, while United Microelectronics Corporation soared 3.03 percent, Hon Hai Precision tumbled 3.27 percent, AsusTek Computer gave away 0.63 percent, AU Optronics climbed 1.30 percent, Catcher Technology jumped 2.79 percent, China Steel skidded 1.23 percent, Taiwan Steel Union advanced 0.42 percent, Formosa Plastics shed 0.96 percent, Cathay Financial fell 0.79 percent, Fubon Financial added 0.10 percent, CTBC Financial lost 0.47 percent, Mega Financial collected 0.19 percent, First Financial slid 0.25 percent and Largan Precision was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower Wednesday before bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line and eventually ended up in the red.

The Dow shed 91.74 points or 0.36 percent to end at 25,706.68, while the NASDAQ lost 2.79 points or 0.04 percent to 7,642.70 and the S&P 500 fell 0.71 points or 0.03 percent to 2,809.21.

The lackluster performance came as the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its September monetary policy meeting, which showed the central bank continues to favor a gradual approach to raising interest rates - meaning the economy is evolving as anticipated.

During the meeting, the Fed decided to raise rates by a quarter-point for a third time this year to 2 to 2.25 percent and forecast another rate hike before the end of the year. The central bank's forecasts also pointed to three rate hikes in 2019.

Mixed earnings news added to the sentiment as tech giant IBM Corp. (IBM) reported weaker than expected revenues, while Netflix (NFLX) beat the street.

Crude oil futures declined sharply on Wednesday, after data showed crude stockpiles swelled last week. Crude oil futures for November delivery ended down $2.17 or 3 percent at $69.75 a barrel, the lowest settlement in a month.

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