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Taiwan: Stocks rise; local dollar at 18-month high

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[TAIPEI] Taiwan stocks rose on Thursday after the Lunar New Year holiday, catching up with gains in global markets, but caution prevailed with the Taiwan dollar strengthening to levels not seen in a year and a half.

By 0331 GMT, the main TAIEX index rose 0.1 per cent, to 9,460.11 points, after climbing as much as 0.8 percent to a session high of 9,521.34, an intra-day high not seen since early June 2015.

The index closed up 0.3 per cent on Jan 24, its last day of trade before the week-long Lunar New Year break.

The electronics subindex rose 0.4 per cent, while the financials subindex lost 0.4 per cent.

Hon Hai Precision was up 0.6 per cent, after rallying as much as 2.4 per cent at the open on optimism after its major client Apple Inc reported better-than-expected sales of its flagship smartphone iPhones.

The Taiwan dollar firmed NT$0.24 to NT$31.120 per US dollar, strengthening to levels not seen in 18 months.

Traders said local currency gains were coming on technical trading with little appetite for US dollars and amid thin volume.


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