Chip Shortage and COVID Slams Taiwan Stock Index in Biggest 2 Day Collapse in Thirty Years

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    Taiwan’s stock index (TAIEX) has been one of…



    South Korean New cases rebound to over 700 amid little progress in vaccinations

    SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases rebounded to over 700 Thursday as the country’s vaccination campaign nearly stalled over tight vaccine supply amid spreading variant cases.

    The country reported 715 more COVID-19 cases, including 692 local infections, raising the total caseload to 129,633, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

    Thursday’s daily caseload jumped from 635 cases Wednesday, 511 Tuesday, 463 Monday and 564 Sunday, and marks the highest since April 28 when it reached 775.

    There were seven additional virus fatalities, raising the total to 1,891. The fatality rate was 1.46 percent.

    The upsurge in daily infections came as the country’s inoculation drive showed little progress recently due to tight supply of vaccines.

    Since late February, the country has been ramping up its vaccination campaign with an aim to achieve herd immunity by November.

    A total of 3,711,023 people, accounting for 7.2 percent of the country’s population, have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines since the country started its vaccination program on Feb. 26, including 4,408 on Wednesday.

    AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been given to 2.03 million people, while 1.67 million have received that of Pfizer.

    For almost a week, daily vaccination has hovered below 10,000 due to tight vaccine supply, but health authorities said shipments of vaccines are scheduled to arrive here on time without a major glitch.

    Health authorities said around 8.95 million people between age 60 and 74 will receive vaccination shots in the coming weeks.

    Starting May 27, people between age 65 and 74 will be administered with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Those between age 60 and 65 will receive AstraZeneca’s vaccine starting June 7.

    Of the locally transmitted cases, 466 cases came from the capital area, with 227 from Seoul, 222 from Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital and 17 from Incheon, just west of Seoul.

    South Korea’s southeastern port city of Ulsan and southern port city of Busan reported 31 and 20 more cases, respectively.

    There were 23 additional imported cases, raising the country’s total number of imported cases to 8,653.

    The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients was 160, down seven from the previous day.

    The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries was 119,906, up 533 from a day earlier, with 7,836 people being isolated for COVID-19 treatment.

    Super Harley

    Taiwan stock sell off continues

    The Taiwan Stock Exchange Weighted Index closed the Monday session 3% lower, having slid as much as 4.2%, as authorities urged companies to allow staff to work from home or split locations after reporting a record 206 new local cases Sunday. The benchmark gauge sank 8.4% last week on concern about the impact on growth, the most since March 2020, turning Taiwan stocks into the world’s worst performers so far this month.

    Forced selling may add volatility to Monday’s trading, with the level of margin debt falling by a net NT$5.8 billion ($207 million) on Friday, according to exchange data compiled by Bloomberg. That took the four-day drop in leverage to NT$39.4 billion, showing traders faced margin calls by brokers to cover losses in their stock accounts.

    The sharp reversal in Taiwan stocks is a warning to highly leveraged investors around the world. The Taiex was the world’s best performing equity gauge in the three years through April, surging almost 80% in U.S. dollar terms, as a seemingly never-ending rally in tech shares pulled in retail investors.

    “In light of rising concerns over the pandemic, we expect more volatility ahead, and advise to stick to defensive names with low P/E and high dividend yield,” said Patrick Chen, CLSA’s Head of Taiwan Research. His team’s top picks include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

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