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Taiwan: Stocks extend fall on uncertain economic, political outlook

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[TAIPEI] Taiwan stocks fell on Thursday, hurt by declines in overseas markets, as uncertainty weighed over likely weak economic data and ahead of the inauguration of the island's new president later this month.

As of 0245 GMT, the main Taiex index fell 0.5 per cent, to 8,148.09, after closing down 1.3 per cent in the previous session to near three-month lows.

The electronics subindex fell 0.5 per cent, while the financials subindex lost 0.6 per cent.

The Taiwan dollar softened T$0.018 to T$32.374 per US dollar.

Asian shares slipped for a seventh straight session on Thursday as a mixed batch of US economic data did nothing to assuage concerns about global growth and deflation.

A Reuters poll showed Taiwan's exports were likely to have contracted for the 15th straight month in April. The island is due to issue trade data on Monday.

Meanwhile, ahead of the May 20 inauguration of Taiwan's new president Tsai Ing-wen, Beijing's top paper has warned its president-elect to recognise the island as part of China.

Ms Tsai, who leads the ruling independence-leaning party, won a January election by a landslide.

China regards democratic Taiwan as a wayward province to be taken back by force if necessary and wants the new government to stick to the "one China" policy agreed upon with the outgoing China-friendly Nationalist government.

REUTERS