RTTNews - The Taiwan stock market has finished lower now in back-to-back sessions, shedding nearly 18 points or 0.35 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange slid below support at 6,650 points, and now analysts suggest that the market could see slightly further easing at the opening of trade on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is effectively flat with a touch of downside, ahead of the start of earnings season later this week. Technology shares and commodities are expected to see selling pressure, offsetting projected strength among the properties and chemical stocks. The European markets ended sharply lower, while the U.S. bourses finished in mixed fashion but near the unchanged line - and the Asian markets are predicted to follow the latter lead.

The TSE finished slightly lower on Monday, weighed by losses among the technology, financial and plastic shares - while the construction, paper, textile and cement sectors finished with mild gains.

For the day, the index was down 15.49 points or 0.23 percent to close at 6,649.91 after trading between 6,693.44 and 6,615.90. Volume was 3.91 billion shares worth 104.39 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,171 gainers and 956 decliners, with 178 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Evergreen Marine added 6.87 percent, while Yang Ming Marine rose 2.94 percent, Da Cin Construction was up 2.59 percent, HTC fell 1.70 percent and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co lost 1.09 percent.

Wall Street offers a mixed lead as stocks were able to shed most of their losses in late trading on Monday after a sharp move to the downside in early going. While the Dow and S&P 500 finished modestly higher, the tech-heavy NASDAQ closed on the downside.

On the economic front, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing that activity in the service sector contracted for the ninth consecutive month in June, although at a slower pace than economists had been expecting. The ISM said its index of activity in the service sector rose to 47.0 in June from 44.0 in May, but a reading below 50 indicates a contraction. Economists had been expecting the index to come in at 46.0.

On the corporate front, food and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), together with its bottling partner Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG), announced plans to invest $1 billion in Russia over three years. Meanwhile, EMC (EMC) raised its all-cash offer to acquire Data Domain (DDUP) to $33.50 per share for a total enterprise value of about $2.1 billion. EMC is competing with NetApp (NTAP) to acquire Data Domain.

Despite the major indices all moving higher going into the close, the NASDAQ was unable to break into positive territory. Subsequently, the NASDAQ finished down by 9.12 points or 0.5 percent at 1,787.40, while the Dow closed up by 44.13 points or 0.5 percent at 8,324.87 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.30 or 0.3 percent to 898.72.

In economic news, Taiwan will on Tuesday provide June data for imports, exports and trade balance. Forecasts call for imports to plummet 38.6 percent on year after the 39.1 percent fall in May. Exports are seen lower by 30.8 percent on year after dropping 31.4 percent in the previous month. The trade balance is expected to climb 2.93 percent on year after the 3.2 percent annual jump a month earlier.

Also, consumer prices in Taiwan dropped 1.97 percent year-on-year in June, faster than a 0.08 percent fall in the preceding month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said Monday. Economists expected a 1.5 percent fall in prices. Core consumer prices declined 0.61 percent. Consumer prices declined mainly due to falling prices of fuels and lubricants, fruits, vegetables and meat as also falling education and entertainment fees.

Month-on-month, consumer prices were down 0.1 percent, after rising 0.42 percent in the preceding month. For the first half of the year, the consumer price index decreased 0.43 percent over the same period of the previous year.

Finally, the wholesale price index rose 1.52 percent month-on-month in June, and was down 13.62 percent compared to the previous year. Economists expected wholesale prices to drop 14.44 percent on an annual basis. For the first half of the year, wholesale prices fell 11.29 percent compared to last year.

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