TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan's shares ended lower Tuesday, snapping a six-session winning streak, as investors pocketed gains from the recent rally, analysts said.
The benchmark index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed down 0.7 percent at 6635.54. Decliners outnumbered gainers 581 to 251 with 144 stocks unchanged in trading valued at 160 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$4.84 billion).
"Profit-taking emerged and offset the main bourse's early gains as investors turned cautious in view of the recent strong rally,'' said Tu Jing-Lung, a vice president at Grand Cathay Securities.
The key index rose nearly 9 percent in the previous six sessions as the U.S. market rebounded and Taiwan's political turmoil after the presidential election gradually eased.
President Chen Shui-bian won the March 20 election by a margin of just 30,000 votes out of 13 million ballots cast.
The opposition has held mass protests to demand a recount, which is now under consideration by the courts.
Tu said in the near term the key index would likely consolidate between 6520 and 6833.
The electronics subindex ended 0.4 percent lower, led by flat-panel stocks. Shares of the flat-panel makers had surged recently on expectations of strong first-quarter earnings, analysts said.
AU Optronics, the world's third-largest flat-panel maker, ended down 4.6 percent at NT$62.50, Chi Mei Optoelectronics dropped 3.1 percent to NT$62.00, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes sank 4.4 percent to NT$21.90.
Shares of dynamic random access memory chip makers ended mixed, as warnings that DRAM prices would likely peak in April discouraged some investors from buying.
DRAM maker Nanya Technology dropped 0.3 percent to NT$30.10 and Winbond Electronics fell 2.1 percent to NT$18.50, but ProMOS Technology soared 5.6 percent to NT$22.70.
United Microelectronics, one of the world's largest chipmakers, rose 1.3 percent on hopes the company will post stronger March revenue growth than its bigger rival, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, said Solomon Chang of Jih Sun Securities.
TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, ended flat at NT$62.China Development Financial Holding bucked the financial sector's 0.8 percent decline to end 0.5 percent higher at NT$19.50.
The company elected a new board Monday, putting an end to months of uncertainty created by shareholders fighting over control. - AP
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