The Taiwan stock market has finished higher in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 240 points or 2 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just beneath the 12,760-point plateau although it figures to turn emphatically lower again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative, with oil and technology stocks expected to lead the way lower after sharp gains in recent weeks. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.
The TSE finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the cement companies and mixed performances from the financial shares and technology stocks.
For the day, the index added 58.47 points or 0.46 percent to finish at 12,757.97 after trading between 12,732.32 and 12,857.79.
Among the actives, Cathay Financial collected 0.76 percent, while CTBC Financial advanced 0.80 percent, Fubon Financial spiked 1.30 percent, First Financial fell 0.24 percent, E Sun Financial dipped 0.19 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company added 0.69 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation shed 0.69 percent, Hon Hai Precision eased 0.13 percent, Largan Precision jumped 1.23 percent, Catcher Technology rose 0.26 percent, MediaTek climbed 1.17 percent, Formosa Plastic perked 0.51 percent, Asia Cement gained 0.36 percent, Taiwan Cement was up 0.12 percent and Mega Financial was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is firmly negative as stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on Thursday as investors cashed in on recent gains.
The Dow plunged 807.77 points or 2.78 percent to finish at 28,292.73, while the NASDAQ plummeted 598.34 points or 4.96 percent to end at 11,458.10 and the S&P 500 tumbled 125.78 points or 3.51 percent to close at 3,455.06.
The sell-off on Wall Street largely reflected profit taking as traders looked to cash in on the recent strength in the markets. Stocks had been trending higher over the past several weeks, leading some analysts to suggest the recovery by the markets has been overdone.
In a marked reversal from recent sessions, tech stocks led the markets lower, as reflected by the nosedive by the NASDAQ.
In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week. Also, the Institute for Supply Management saw a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in service sector activity in August.
Crude oil prices recovered after an early sharp fall on Thursday but still ended in the red on concerns about the pace of economic recovery and the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $0.14 or 0.3 percent at $41.37 a barrel.
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