RTTNews - The winning streak has stretched to six sessions now for the Taiwan stock market, which has collected more than 385 points or 5.8 percent on its way to a fresh eight-month closing high. The Taiwan Stock Exchange is closing on resistance at 6,740 points, but now investors say that the market could instead ease slightly at the opening of trade on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly flat with perhaps a touch of downside. There is little in the way of economic data or corporate news due for release ahead of the long holiday weekend in the United States. The European markets finished little changed in mixed fashion, while the U.S. bourses wound up with slight losses, and the Asian markets are also expected to see thin trade.
The TSE finished slightly higher on Friday, shrugging off sharp losses at the opening. Gains among the technology stocks were enough to push the market into positive territory, while the construction shares also ended higher.
For the day, the index was up 18.48 points or 0.28 percent to close at 6,737.29 after trading between 6,650.51 and 6,781.14 on turnover of 187.08 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,174 gainers and 1,000 decliners, with 141 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, Prince Housing rose 6.80 percent, while Goldsun Development ended 6.79 percent higher, PixArt Imaging rose 6.97 percent, MediaTek gained 3.35 percent and WinTek added 6.79 percent.
Finishing lower, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 0.71 percent and United Microelectronics Corp lost 1.85 percent.
Wall Street offers little in the way of guidance as stocks closed Friday's quiet session little changed, with traders hesitant to take positions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. Bargain hunting drove gains into the late afternoon, but the major averages fell uniformly heading down the home stretch.
The dollar continued to take a brutal beating, as traders continued their exodus from the world's reserve currency amid speculation that the global economy is on the mend. As earnings season winds to a close, traders considered encouraging earnings data from Sears Holdings (SHLD), Gap (GPS) and Campbell's Soup (CPB), prompting some of the gains in equities.
On the corporate front, McDonald's (MCD) added 2.5 percent on the day. With the climb, the stock extended recent gains, moving to its highest level since February. Meanwhile, shares of Disney (DIS) and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours (DD) were also higher, rising by 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, taking back some of their recent losses. The blue chip index was limited by shares of General Motors (GM) which plunged 25 percent, as the firm is likely heading towards bankruptcy.
The Dow slipped 14.81 points or 0.18 percent to finished 8277.32, while the NASDAQ lost 3.24 points or 0.19 percent to end at 1692.01, and the S&P 500 shed 1.33 points or 0.15 percent to close at 887.
In economic news, Taiwan will on Monday release April numbers for export orders and industrial output. Export orders are forecast lower by 25.4 percent on year after the 24.29 percent annual decline in March. Output is predicted lower by 25 percent on year after the 26.03 percent contraction in the previous month.
Also, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Friday that sales of trade and food services posted an annual decrease of 9.52 percent in April following a 12.22 percent contraction in March. Including wholesale trade, commercial sales decreased 12.19 percent. With retail trade, sales were down 2.57 percent, while sales rose 1.62 percent including food services.
In addition, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said the total non-agricultural payroll employment declined 0.34 percent month-on-month in March to 6.29 million. Compared to the previous year, the employment fell 4.34 percent. Average monthly earnings for the manufacturing and service sectors, which includes regular and irregular incomes slipped 6.21 percent on a monthly basis in March to 38,884 Taiwan dollars. On a yearly basis, the earnings declined 3.67 percent.
Finally, Taiwan's jobless rate increased to a seasonally adjusted 5.77 percent in April from 5.72 percent in March, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed on Friday. Economists expected the rate to come in at 5.84 percent. The jobless rate has been increasing for the last three months. The number of unemployed persons rose to 628,000 in April from 622,000 in the previous month.
At the same time, the number of employed persons remained almost unchanged at 10.25 million in April from March. Meanwhile, the number of persons in the labor force increased slightly to 10.88 million in April from 10.87 million in the previous month. However, the labor force participation rate decreased to 57.86 percent from 57.88 percent in the preceding month.
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