Taipei--Shares in Taiwan closed little changed Thursday, with many large-cap stocks moving slowly as the main board faced stiff technical resistance ahead of 10,000 points, dealers said.
Market sentiment was cautious as investors were watching closely how the U.S. House of Representatives will vote over a health insurance bill proposed by the Trump Administration to replace Obamacare, which could move Wall Street and other financial markets around the world, the dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 8.08 points, or 0.08 percent, at 9,930.74, after moving between 9,897.45 and 9,945.24, on turnover of NT$99.84 billion (US$3.27 billion).
The market opened down 0.69 points in a knee-jerk reaction to a mixed Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.03 percent and the S&P 500 index ended up 0.19 percent before the U.S. health insurance vote, the dealers said.
Share prices on the local main board moved in a narrow range for the rest of the session, with select high-tech heavyweights staying above their previous closing levels to lend some support to the broader market and vault the index into positive territory at the end of the session, they said.
"The global financial markets have been watching the healthcare vote in the U.S. closely," Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said. "If the Trump plan is rejected or the passage of the bill is delayed, there is concern about when he will put up his tax cut bill for a vote."
Many market analysts believe that without the tax cut, a rally on Wall Street that started after Trump was elected could be over.
"In Taiwan, the local main board has been capped by high technical hurdles ahead of the 10,000-point mark. So after the index breached 9,900 points, the pace of the market appeared to wobble," Huang said.
The bellwether electronics sector closed up 0.10 percent after contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???) ended unchanged at NT$193.50 with 18.47 million shares changing hands. However, TSMC's smaller rival, United Microelectronics Corp. (??), rose 1.64 percent to close at NT$12.40, and memory chip maker Nanya Technology Corp. (??) gained 0.74 percent to end at NT$47.50, lending some support to the broader market.
In the property sector, Huang Hsiang Construction Corp. (??) added 4.61 percent to close at NT$46.55, and Highwealth Construction Corp. (???) rose 2.67 percent to end at NT$53.90 on hopes that the government will speed up the pace of urban renewal development.
The financial sector ended up 0.36 percent, with Fubon Financial Holding Co. (???) up 1.34 percent to close at NT$53.10, and Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) up 1.00 percent to end at NT$50.60.
"Uncertainty in the global financial markets remains. Investors had better lock in their gains with the local weighted index moving closer to 10,000 points to avoid possible losses," Huang said.