World Markets

Rally May Stall For Taiwan Stock Market

(RTTNews.com) - The Taiwan stock market has climbed higher in back-to-back sessions, soaring nearly 250 points or 2.6 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 9,725-point plateau although investors may decide to cash in on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with limited bargain hunting and thin trade expected before the New Year holiday. The European markets were up on Friday and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The TSE finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and cement companies.

For the day, the index advanced 85.85 points or 0.89 percent to finish at the daily high of 9,727.41 after moving as low as 9,630.77 on turnover of 73.77 billion Taiwan dollars.

Among the actives, Fubon Financial added 0.21 percent, while Cathay Financial collected 0.64 percent, CTBC Financial advanced 1.25 percent, Mega Financial perked 2.57 percent, First Financial rose 0.76 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company climbed 1.12 percent, AsusTek Computer gained 0.75 percent, Largan Precision spiked 2.55 percent, AU Optronics gathered 0.82 percent, Chunghwa Telecom soared 6.10 percent, Asia Cement was up 1.19 percent, Taiwan Cement added 0.56 percent, Formosa Plastics jumped 3.27 percent and United Microelectronics Corporation and Hon Hai Precision were unchanged

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks saw continued volatility with wild swings on Friday before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow shed 76.42 points or 0.33 percent to 23,062.40, while the NASDAQ added 5.03 points or 0.08 percent to 6,584.52 and the S&P 500 fell 3.09 points or 0.12 percent to 2,485.74. For the week, the Dow jumped 2.7 percent, the NASDAQ soared 4 percent and the S&P gained 2.9 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a breather following the volatility in the past few sessions. Stocks moved sharply lower over much of the trading session on Friday before surging in the final hour of trade.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors noted a continued drop in pending home sales in November. Also, MNI Indicators said growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back less than expected in December.

Crude oil futures ended higher Friday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted a less than expected decline in stockpiles last week. Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.72 or 1.6 percent at $45.33 a barrel.

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