Two Blokes Trading

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The Taiwan stock market has moved higher in consecutive trading days, gathering more than 270 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Taiwan Stock Exchange now sits just above the 17,335-point plateau although it’s expected to run out of steam on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amidst a lack of strong catalysts. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The TSE finished sharply higher on Wednesday following strong gains from the financial shares and technology stocks.

For the day, the index soared 261.16 points or 1.53 percent to finish at 17,336.71 after trading between 17,127.59 and 17,375.79.

Among the actives, Cathay Financial improved 2.85 percent, while Mega Financial added 0.77 percent, CTBC Financial collected 1.12 percent, Fubon Financial climbed 1.56 percent, First Financial gained 0.67 percent, E Sun Financial advanced 1.97 percent, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company rallied 2.94 percent, United Microelectronics Corporation soared 3.92 percent, Hon Hai Precision spiked 2.76 percent, Largan Precision jumped 2.05 percent, Catcher Technology accelerated 2.24 percent, MediaTek surged 4.21 percent, Formosa Plastic perked 1.47 percent, Asia Cement shed 0.59 percent, Taiwan Cement rose 0.20 percent and Delta Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages opened mixed on Wednesday and hugged the unchanged line throughout the session, finally finishing that way.

The Dow shed 71.34 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 33,874.24, while the NASDAQ added 18.46 points or 0.13 percent to end at 14,271.73 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.60 points or 0.11 percent to close at 4,241.84.

The lackluster performance on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent volatility.

Recent comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have eased some concerns about the outlook for monetary policy that weighed on the markets last week; Powell downplayed the risk of inflation and stressed the central bank would not raise rates preemptively.

In economic news, the Commerce Department unexpectedly showed another steep drop in new home sales in the U.S. in May.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after data showed a larger than expected decline in U.S. crude inventories last week. However, the possibility of increased output from major oil producers limited oil’s surge. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended up $0.23 or 0.3 percent at $73.08 a barrel.

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