(RTTNews) – Ahead of the long holiday weekend for the Dragon Boat Festival, the Taiwan stock market had climbed higher in seven straight sessions, accelerating more than 350 points or 3.1 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 11,660-point plateau although it’s overdue for profit taking upon its return on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on spiking Covid-19 cases and poor results from bank stress tests. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were sharply lower and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The TSE finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the technology stocks and cement companies, while the financials came in mixed.
For the day, the index collected 48.31 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 11,660.67 after trading between 11,637.79 and 11,701.23.
Among the actives, Cathay Financial fell 0.24 percent, while Mega Financial collected 0.32 percent, CTBC Financial shed 0.74 percent, Fubon Financial gained 0.34 percent, First Financial eased 0.22 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company added 0.79 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation spiked 1.94 percent, Hon Hai Precision soared 4.11 percent, MediaTek climbed 1.05 percent, Asia Cement advanced 0.46 percent, Taiwan Cement was up 0.35 percent, Formosa Plastic perked 0.58 percent and E Sun Financial, Largan Precision and Catcher Technology were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday and stayed that way throughout the session.
The Dow plummeted 730.05 points or 2.84 percent to finish at 25,015.55, while the NASDAQ tumbled 259.78 points or 2.59 percent to end at 9,757.22 and the S&P 500 sank 74.71 points or 2.42 percent to close at 3,009.05.
The weakness on Wall Street was due largely to a sharp surge in new Covid-19 infections in several states, raising fears of re-imposing restrictions on businesses. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the number of infected people in the U.S. is most likely 10 times higher than what has been officially reported.
Financials turned lower after the Fed released the results of stress tests on banks – which said the nation’s biggest banks are healthy but could suffer up to $700 billion in losses on soured loans if the economy languishes. It also ordered certain banks to cap dividends to conserve funds.
Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, weighed down by concerns over energy demand outlook in the wake of sharp spikes in new coronavirus infections in several states in the U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $0.23 or 0.6 percent at $38.49 a barrel.
Closer to home, Taiwan will see June results for its consumer confidence index later today; in May, the index score was 64.87.