RTTNews - The Taiwan stock market made the most of a rare trading day on Saturday, snapping a four-day losing streak that had cost the market more than 190 points or 2.6 percent in the process. The Taiwan Stock Exchange has regained support at 6,850 points, although analysts are uncertain if the market can hold that level at the opening of trade on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets offers little guidance, although the markets may slip under mild selling pressure on some overdue profit taking. Some better than expected economic news out of the United States is likely to keep the decline in the modest range. The European markets finished Friday's session in the green, while the U.S. markets ended little changed with a slight negative bias - and the Asian markets are projected to also move a bit lower.
The TSE finished sharply higher on Saturday, making up for an extra holiday given during the Dragon Boar Festival break a week earlier, led by gains among the properties and the technology shares. On Friday, the market fell 18.96 points or 0.3 percent to close at 6,767.10.
On Saturday, the index jumped 89.64 or 1.32 percent to close at the daily high of 6,856.74 after dipping as low as 6,781.69 on turnover of 94.34 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,423 gainers and 607 decliners, with 157 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, We & Win Development was limit-up 7 percent, while Farglory Group rose 6.86 percent, United Microelectronics Corp added 5.73 percent and Semiconductor Manufacturing Co climbed 0.53 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is flat with a touch of downside as stocks finished Friday's trading mostly lower after a lackluster performance following strong gains in the previous session. The major averages ended the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line, as traders were cautious following an employment report indicative of some signs of life in the labor market.
The report from Labor Department showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 345,000 jobs in May following a revised decrease of 504,000 jobs in April. Economists had expected a decrease of about 520,000 jobs compared to the loss of 539,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. At the same time, the report said that the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May from 8.9 percent in April. With the increase, the unemployment rate came in above economist estimates of 9.2 percent and rose to its highest level since August of 1983.
On the corporate front, shares of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP) rose after the company entered into a joint venture agreement with rival BHP Billiton and scrapped its $19.5 billion deal with Chinalco. In lieu of its deal with Chinalco, Rio Tinto instead launched a heavily discounted $15.2 billion rights issue. The company also reported a decline in fiscal 2009 first-quarter earnings, adversely impacted by price movements and production volumes amid the downturn in economy.
Meanwhile, international retailer Guess (GES) said its first quarter profit fell 32 percent from last year, as revenue dropped and margins shrank. However, the company's quarterly earnings per share beat analysts' expectations. The firm's shares closed up by 5.8 percent for the day.
The major averages eventually finished the day mixed after being marred by choppy trading throughout the session. While the Dow finished up by 12.89 points of 0.2 percent at 8,763.13, the NASDAQ slipped by 0.60 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 1,849.42 and the S&P 500 edged down by 2.37 points or 0.3 percent to 940.09. For the week, the major averages all enjoyed notable gains despite being slowed by lackluster sessions on Wednesday and Friday. The Dow moved up by 3.1 percent for the week, while the NASDAQ rose by 4.2 percent and the S&P 500 climbed by 2.3 percent.
In economic news, Taiwan's consumer price index fell 0.08 percent year-on-year in May after falling 0.45 percent in April, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said Friday. Economists had forecast consumer prices to fall 0.31 percent. The CPI fell for the fourth straight month in May.
Prices fell mainly due to decline prices of transportation and communication and education and entertainment.
However, on a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.42 percent led by increase in prices of fruits and vegetables and fuels and lubricant. The core CPI that excludes fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish and energy declined 0.13 percent. For the first five months of 2009, the CPI decreased 0.11 percent over the same period of previous year. During the same period, the core CPI advanced 0.84 percent.
Further, the statistical agency said the wholesale price index or WPI slide 0.01 percent month-on-month in May, taking the annual decline to 13.45 percent. The annual fall was slightly quicker than 12.5 percent contraction predicted.
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