TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan shares snapped a three-session winning streak Thursday, closing sharply lower on profit-taking after a strong rise a day earlier, analysts said.
The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange finished 143.39 points, or 2.1 percent, lower at 6,736.79 in dealings valued at 199.3 billion New Taiwan dollars (US$6.03 billion).
Decliners outnumbered advancers 686 to 189, while 94 issues ended the day unchanged.
The bourse drifted much of the day Wednesday before a late rally lifted it 1.3 percent to 6,880.18.
Thursday's drop more than erased the previous day's gains, but Andrew Teng, a deputy sales manager at Taiwan International Securities, said high volumes over the past few days indicate the bourse is consolidating ahead of its next leap.
"This rally isn't over yet,'' he said.
Chipmakers led the declines after spot prices of dynamic random access memory chips plummeted overnight.
Shares in Taiwan DRAM maker Nanya Technology fell 6.8 percent to NT$28.6, while Powerchip Semiconductor dropped 6.9 percent to NT$36.3.
The key index briefly rose above 6,900 early Thursday, as investors bought shares of companies with positive earnings outlooks, but sentiment soon turned sour as DRAM stocks weakened.
Taiwan's contract chip giants also shed their previous gains.
Taiwan Semiconductor dropped 3.2 percent to NT$61, while rival United Microelectronics fell 5.4 percent to NT$31.8.
Semiconductor packaging and testing giant Advanced Semiconductor also fell prey to the chip stock declines, ending 4.6 percent lower at NT$33, while rival Siliconware Precision dropped 6.6 percent to NT$34.
The technology subindex dropped 2.3 percent on the day, and transport stocks reversed 2.6 percent.
Makers of thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal-display panels - a hot sector this year and a strong performer in Wednesday's late rally - also fared poorly Thursday.
Quanta Display dropped 6.1 percent to NT$29.2, while Chunghwa Picture Tubes fell 6.2 percent to NT$24.1.
The finance subindex declined by 2.1 percent.
First Financial Holding dropped 3.6 percent to NT$26.8, while Hua Nan Financial fell 3.3 percent to NT$29.3 amid the overall market decline.
Teng at Taiwan International Securities said the bourse would likely trade in a range of 6720-6820 Friday, and may consolidate in the next few sessions. - AP
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