RTTNews - The Taiwan stock market has finished lower now in back-to-back sessions since the end of the seven-day winning streak in which it had more than 440 points or 5.8 percent. The Taiwan Stock Exchange slid below support at 6,980 points, although analysts are expecting the market to inch higher at the opening of trade on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets provide little guidance as expected declines among the financials and technology sectors could be offset by gains among health care and pharmaceutical stocks. The markets in Europe and the United States finished mixed on Friday, but not too far from the unchanged line one way or the other. The Asian bourses could open to the upside once again, although a mild downside correction could take hold later in the day for many of the markets that are riding significant winning streaks.

The TSE finished slightly lower on Friday as profit taking in the afternoon erased solid gains from morning trade. Technology stocks were mostly higher, which pushed the market into positive territory at the close.

For the day, the index shed 7.60 points or 0.11 percent to close at 6,973.28 after trading between 6,950.92 and 7,046.46 on turnover of 149.40 billion Taiwan dollars. There were 1,265 decliners and 1,054 gainers, with 182 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, AU Optronics dropped 3.80 percent, while Chi Mei Optoelectronics lost 2.41 percent, HTC lost 1.35 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 1.24 percent and United Microelectronics Corp was up 1.97 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed as stocks were able to regain some ground but still finished Friday's session on a mixed note after discouraging news from Microsoft (MSFT) prompted a lower open. The Dow and the S&P 500 were able to eke out modest gains, while the NASDAQ snapped a 12-day wining streak.

Earlier selling pressure was generated by disappointing earnings from Microsoft, which reported weaker than expected quarterly sales, while American Express (AXP), Amazon.com (AMZN), Black & Decker (BDK), Schlumberger (SLB) and others offered a mixed bag of results.

Traders largely shrugged off a mixed report from Reuters and the University of Michigan, which showed that their reading on consumer sentiment for the month of July was upwardly revised from the preliminary reading but still came in well below the previous month. The report said that the consumer sentiment index for July came in at 66.0 compared to the preliminary reading of 64.6, although it remained below a reading of 70.8 for June. Economists had expected the index to be revised up to 65.0.

Meanwhile, some traders looked to Capitol Hill, where Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were among government officials testifying before the House Financial Services Committee regarding financial service regulatory reform. Notably, the Fed chief indicated that the government is winding down its unprecedented intervention in the U.S. financial system.

The major averages eventually ended the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line, with the NASDAQ stuck in the red. While the NASDAQ slipped by 7.64 points or 0.4 percent to 1,965.96, the Dow climbed 23.95 points or 0.3 percent to 9,093.24 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.97 points or 0.3 points to 979.26. Despite the mixed performance for the session, the major averages all posted strong gains for the week. The Dow rose 4 percent for the week, while the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 posted weekly gains of 4.2 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

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