Tue, Feb 25, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Nan Ya Plastic and China Steel lead gainers on TAIEX

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Stocks rose for the first day in five, led by Nan Ya Plastic Corp (南亞塑膠) and Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), after the government said fourth-quarter economic growth beat economists' expectations.

"Steel and plastic makers are especially sensitive to economic recovery," said Celine Chiang, who manages the NT$500 million (US$14 million) 2001 Fund at Polaris International Securities Investment Trust Co (寶來投信).

"Traditional manufacturers will benefit from an improved economy more than electronic makers," she said.

The TAIEX rose 60.85, or 1.3 percent, to close at 4,609.20. About two stocks gained for every one that declined. Trading was worth NT$43.9 billion, about half the daily average in the past three months.

The economy grew 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the government said Feb. 21. That beat the 3.4 percent growth rate eight economists predicted in a Bloomberg survey. The government projects the economy will expand 3.7 percent this year.

Nan Ya Plastics, the nation's largest plastic maker, added NT$1.50, or 4.5 percent, to NT$34.90. Formosa Plastics, the nation's biggest petrochemical company, climbed NT$1.60, or 3.8 percent, to NT$43.60.

China Steel Corp (中鋼) gained NT$0.70 to NT$22.90. The steelmaker climbed after a local newspaper said the company may increase prices this week as demand rises. The company will raise prices of its products on Thursday, following four price increases last year, the newspaper reported, without citing the source of its information.

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