Taiwan Stocks at Key Level; Apple May Determine If Gains Last

By Kevin KingsburyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

It's not often that resistance lines last 20 years.

But that's been the case for Taiwan's benchmark stock index, and the Taiex is about to see if the fifth time is the charm. Apple Inc. (AAPL) could well prove key if success is finally achieved this time around.

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After topping out in early 1990 at 12495, the Taiex hasn't been able to spend any more than a brief time above 10,000 points. That includes just two days in 2015, when the index got to 10002 and 10014 intraday, according to data from FactSet.

On Tuesday morning, the Taiex briefly rose above the resistance to reach 10001.94, though it quickly pared gains and was last up 0.1% at 9951.01. The index had been trading close to the key level for nearly two months.

Meanwhile, the Taiex hasn't finished in five-figure territory since 2000, topping out then at 10202.

Reaching this decades-long resistance level may finally put the Taiex on pace for a serious retest of 1990's record high, but whether that happens could depend on Apple's plans for the upcoming iPhone.

Hopes surrounding the upcoming model, coming 10 years after the company's initial handset, have helped stoke a 45% rise in Apple shares in the past six months.

Stocks in Taiwan, where several key Apple iPhone manufacturers and parts suppliers are listed, haven't risen quite as much. Still, the Taiex is up 25% from a year earlier, making it among the region's best performers.

Taiwan stocks, like Apple shares, stalled by mid-2015 as the first-ever sales declines for the iPhone loomed. That was in part the result of a lack of big improvements, though there is speculation about some notable advances with the coming release.

However, if ahead of the September release the wow factor in the new iPhone just isn't there, Taiwan's stock market could see some major correction, analysts have said.

Write to Kevin Kingsbury at kevin.kingsbury@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 08, 2017 22:58 ET (02:58 GMT)