Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved lower Tuesday, led by major suppliers to Apple Inc., after the American consumer electronics giant suffered losses on the United States market overnight, dealers said.
In Taiwan, selling of the "Apple concept stocks" came amid concerns over possible additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, including iPhones assembled in China, if Washington and Beijing do not sign a phase-one deal before the Dec. 15 deadline, dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended down 32.93 points, or 0.28 percent, at 11,627.84, after moving between 11,607.26 and 11,649.73. Turnover totaled NT$103.31 billion (US$3.39 billion) during the session.
The market opened down 0.11 percent as major Apple suppliers such as chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. came under pressure in the wake of a downturn on Wall Street, where Apple shares fell 1.4 percent Monday, dealers said.
As the Taiex drew closer to the nearest technical support at around 11,600 points, however, the losses were capped and the index moved in a narrow range for the rest of the trading session, they said.
The U.S. has threatened to impose tariffs on an additional US$156 billion worth of Chinese merchandise if the two sides fail to sign a deal by Dec. 15.
"The Chinese goods targeted by the tariffs would include smartphones and notebook computers, which means Apple products made in China would be heavily affected," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said.
"It was no surprise that after Apple shares fell in the U.S., stocks of its suppliers in Taiwan dropped."
He said investors also seized the trade tensions as a reason to lock in their gains from recent sessions.
Among the losing Apple concept stocks, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, fell 0.79 percent to close at NT$313.50, with 20.52 million shares changing hands. TSMC's losses contributed about 25 points to the fall of the Taiex and pushed down the bellwether electronics sector by 0.46 percent.
Also in the Apple supply chain, Hon Hai, second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, lost 0.77 percent to end at NT$90.30, metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. fell 1.77 percent to close at NT$249.50, and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. shed 3.01 percent to finish at NT$4,675.00.
The global trade issues also sparked selling in non-tech stocks amid worry that weaker demand would depress prices, dealers said.
Food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. lost 0.83 percent to close at NT$71.80; Hotai Motor Co., Taiwan's largest car vendor and the local sales agent of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., fell 0.49 percent to end at NT$612.00; and Formosa Plastics Corp. dropped 0.21 percent to close at NT$96.50. Bucking the downturn, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. finished 0.28 percent higher at NT$71.10.
In the financial sector, which closed up 0.06 percent on the back of companies' solid bottom lines, Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 0.97 percent to end at NT$41.70, and Mega Financial Holding Co. gained 0.17 percent to finish at NT$30.20.
"I think the Taiex had strong technical support today at around 11,600 points, as it neared the 5-day and 10-day moving average," Huang said.
According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$2.73 billion worth of shares on the main board Tuesday.
(By Frances Huang)