RTTNews - The Taiwan stock market has finished higher now in back-to-back sessions, collecting more than 30 points or 0.45 percent in the process. Returning to action after Friday's unscheduled day off in response to Typhoon Morakot, the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed above the 6,880-point plateau, but now investors are bracing for a modest decline by the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat with a negative bias - particularly as investors may look to consolidate their positions after strong gains in the previous trading day. Commodities could see significant selling pressure, along with properties and airlines. The European markets were mostly lower, while the U.S. bourses ended slightly in negative territory - and the Asian markets are tipped also to move to the downside.
The TSE finished slightly higher on Monday, as gains among the cement, construction, technology and plastic stocks were largely offset by weakness among the food, textile, paper and financial issues.
For the day, the index was up 14.22 points or 0.3 percent to close at 6,882.87 after trading between 6,836.96 and 6,909.16. Volume was 6.46 billion shares worth 99.40 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,208 decliners and 1,061 gainers, with 154 stocks finishing unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street has a touch of downside as stocks posted modest losses on Monday with traders cashing in on recent gains amid a lack of significant moves. The major averages all finished in negative territory, kicking off the week on a sour note. The decline came ahead of some key economic reports on tap for this week, including data on retail sales, industrial production and weekly jobless claims.
Further, the Federal Open Market Committee will make its interest rate announcement on Wednesday, with the key fed funds rate expected to remain unchanged amid a challenging economic environment.
On the corporate front, Freddie Mac (FRE) said late Friday that it no longer needs government aid, as the mortgage lender posted a positive net worth. Benefiting from accounting adjustments and gains, Freddie Mac reported a second quarter profit of $821 million on a notable increase in revenues to $7.47 billion from last year's $1.59 billion.
Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) reported a 14 percent increase in second quarter earnings, fueled by gains from derivatives trading, which soared to $1.53 billion from $453 million in the second quarter of last year. The firm earned $1,147 per share, while Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn $1,238 per share for the quarter.
Microsoft (MSFT), which recently struck a ten-year deal with Yahoo (YHOO) to share search engine technology and ad revenue, announced an agreement with French ad company Publicis to sell its Razorfish digital advertising unit.
The major averages regained some ground going into the close of trading, although they remained stuck in the red. The Dow closed down by 32.12 points or 0.3 percent at 9,337.95, the NASDAQ slipped by 8.01 points or 0.4 percent to 1,992.24 and the S&P 500 fell by 3.38 points or 0.3 percent to 1,007.10.
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