(RTTNews) – The Taiwan stock market has tracked lower in two straight sessions, sinking almost 170 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now sits just beneath the 18,370-point plateau and it may extend its losing streak again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests further consolidation on interest rate concerns and ahead of U.S. employment data, although support from crude oil prices should limit the downside. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion. The TSE finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the technology stocks were offset by support from the financials.
For the day, the index dropped 132.04 points or 0.71 percent to finish at 18,367.92 after trading between 18,253.82 and 18,427.15. Among the actives, Cathay Financial was up 0.16 percent, while Mega Financial climbed 1.27 percent, CTBC Financial collected 0.58 percent, Fubon Financial added 0.26 percent, First Financial gained 0.61 percent, E Sun Financial strengthened 1.24 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company dropped 0.92 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation shed 0.63 percent, Hon Hai Precision tumbled 1.83 percent, Largan Precision sank 0.96 percent, Catcher Technology advanced 0.93 percent, MediaTek plunged 3.40 percent, Delta Electronics rose 0.17 percent, Formosa Plastic and Taiwan Cement both perked 0.95 percent, Asia Cement gathered 0.46 percent and CK Hutchison was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street ends up being soft as the major averages opened a bit higher on Thursday and then hugged both sides of the unchanged line before ending slightly lower.
The Dow dropped 170.64 points or 0.47 percent to finish at 36,236.47, while the NASDAQ lost 19.31 points or 0.13 percent to close at 15,080.87 and the S&P 500 fell 4.53 points or 0.10 percent to end at 4,696.05.
The choppy trading on Wall Street reflected continued uncertainty in reaction to the minutes of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting. The minutes of the Fed’s December meeting had a hawkish tone, suggesting the central bank will more aggressive in tightening monetary policy.
Traders may also have been reluctant to continue making significant moves ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report later today.
In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. Also, the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. service sector growth slowed from a record high in December.
Crude oil prices moved sharply higher Thursday, lifted by rising unrest in Kazakhstan and supply outages in Libya. Hopes that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will not significantly impact global oil demand also contributed to the increase in prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended higher by $1.61 or 2.1 percent at $79.46 a barrel.
Closer to home, Taiwan will provide December figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are expected to jump 30.6 percent on year, slowing from 33.8 percent in November. Exports are called higher by an annual 26.7 percent, down from 30.2 percent in the previous month. The trade surplus is pegged at $5.9 billion, up from $5.71 billion a month earlier.