Taiwan shares end little changed ahead of U.S. job data

Shares in Taiwan closed little changed on Friday after moving in a narrow range as investors turned cautious ahead of the release of United States non-farm payroll data later in the day, dealers said.

The caution, reflected in the day’s thin turnover, was also the result of a lack of leads from U.S. markets, which were closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday, dealers said.

While large cap tech stocks generally remained sluggish, select old economy and financial stocks attracted buying as safe havens to lend support to the broader market, they said.

The market opened up 9.95 points on follow-through buying from a session earlier when the Taiex closed up 0.30 percent, and soon fell into a narrow trading range for the rest of the session as the electronics sector remained in consolidation mode, dealers said.

Late in the session, buying emerged in certain tech stocks such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) as well as old economy and financial stocks, helping the broader market recoup earlier losses and close in positive territory, they said.

The Fed’s next policymaking meeting will be in late July.

In addition, due to the U.S. Independence Day holiday, Su said, many foreign institutional investors tended to step back from the trading floor, which also curtailed trading volume.

Su said market heavyweights, in particular in the tech sector, remained sluggish throughout the session, due to low turnover.

TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock in the local market, fell 0.41 percent to close at NT$243.00, off an early low of NT$241.50, with 22.85 million shares changing hands.

Also in the electronics sector, which rose 0.10 percent, Largan Precision Co., a supplier of smartphone camera lenses to Apple Inc. lost 0.13 percent to end at NT$3,950.00, off a low of NT$3,940.00.

Among the gaining old economy stocks, Wei Chuan Foods Corp. rose 0.76 percent to close at NT$33.05, and rival Uni-President Enterprises Corp. added 0.61 percent to end at NT$82.00 amid optimism over the peak summer season.