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TSMC’s 13% Rout May Have Further to Go, Options Traders Indicate

TSMC’s 13% Rout May Have Further to Go, Options Traders Indicate

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. options traders are contending with a rising wave of bearishness following the chipmaker’s cautious guidance and concerns about whether the artificial-intelligence trade is unwinding.

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The volume of put options on the chipmaker’s US-listed shares climbed to the highest level since January on Friday, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. TSMC shares have dropped 13% over the past six sessions, erasing more than $100 billion in market value.

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The world’s largest maker of advanced chips cut its expectations for 2024 semiconductor market growth — excluding memory chips — to about 10% last week. That added to a spate of cautious news for a sector that’s been flying high over the past year as enthusiasm about AI swelled, with some seeing the gains as overdone. Nvidia Corp and Super Micro Computer Inc., two other sector darlings, plummeted on Friday.

While put options have been on the increase, call options have also seen elevated activity, suggesting some traders see potential for a rebound. Open interest for both put and call options on Friday was each about 20% higher than their 20-day average levels.

Cautious capital spending and industry outlook have depressed sentiment for TSMC, Morningstar analyst Phelix Lee wrote in a note Friday. However, he added that the “shares remain attractive, as artificial intelligence-related demand continues to pleasantly surprise us, and there is limited downside to sentiment for the automotive and industrial markets.”

--With assistance from John Cheng.

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