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Taiwan investors suffer average loss of NT$250,000

Taiwan investors suffer average loss of NT$250,000

TAIPEI: Equity investors in Taiwan suffered average losses of about NT$250,000 (US$7,560) last year, as the benchmark index fell more than 10 percent, market statistics showed on Thursday.

The TAIEX closed 0.7 percent higher at 8,338.06 points on Thursday, the last trading day of the year.

However, the index dropped 10.41 percent, or 969.20 points, for the year, the steepest annual decline since 2011, when it fell 21.18 percent.

On average, equity investors sustained losses of NT$250,000, which were calculated based on 9.59 million valid securities investment accounts after a sharp annual decline of NT$2.41 trillion in market capitalization on the main board.

Market capitalization on the main board totaled NT$24.46 trillion as of Thursday.

The losses by equity investors eroded average earnings of NT$248,000 by investors in 2014, when the TAIEX rose by an annual 8.08 percent to close at a 25-year high of 9,307.26 points.

The main board started off well last year, although market sentiment was severely affected by the debt crisis in Greece.

Buying was sparked by the European Central Bank’s move to ease its monetary policy, which offset the impact of the Greek financial crisis, dealers said.

On April 27 last year, the TAIEX breached the 10,000-point mark briefly for the first time in 15 years. The next day, it hit 10,014.28 points intraday, although it fell to 9,956.83 points by the close.

However, after those two sessions, shares started to move lower amid lingering concerns over domestic economic fundamentals.

The government lowered its forecast for Taiwan’s GDP growth several times, as exports plunged amid falling global demand.

While the government’s most recent forecast for last year’s GDP growth was 1.06 percent, several economic think tanks have said it would be difficult to achieve 1 percent growth.

Investor confidence was hit by global financial turmoil in August, when the People’s Bank of China sharply cut the yuan’s reference rate against the US dollar, sending the Chinese currency into a tailspin.

As a result, the TAIEX fell to 7,203.07 on Aug. 24, an intraday low this year, before the National Financial Stabilization Fund moved in to prop up share prices.

The index subsequently rebounded to 8,871.87 points in November, but selling re-emerged, pushing the index below the 8,000-point mark again earlier last month due to an interest hike in the US and weaker oil prices.

The average daily turnover on the local main board for last year was about NT$92.5 billion, compared with NT$92.92 billion in 2014.