TAIPEI, Feb 3 Taiwan stocks were mostly flat on
Friday after early gains were eroded when regional and China
markets fell after Beijing unexpectedly hiked short-term rates.
China's central bank surprised financial markets by raising
short-term interest rates on the first day back from a long
holiday, in a further sign that it is slowly moving to a tighter
policy bias as the economy shows signs of steadying.
As of 0313 GMT, the main TAIEX index was largely
unchanged at 9,433.04, after closing down 0.2 percent in the
The index has been trying to regain the key 9,500 level,
around a year-and-a-half intraday high that it briefly traded
above on Thursday, before profit-taking erased gains.
The electronics subindex fell 0.1 percent, while the
financials subindex was unchanged.
The local dollar continued to strengthen, breaching below
the key T$31.00 level to touch near 19-month intra-session highs
against the U.S. dollar.
In late morning trade, the Taiwan dollar firmed
T$0.076 to T$31.025 per U.S. dollar.
Its strongest level so far against the U.S. dollar on Friday
at T$30.950 puts its gains at levels not seen since early July
(Reporting by J.R. Wu; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)