Fri, Mar 07, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX drops for third day in a row on US war fears

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Stocks fell for a third day after the government said the nation's consumer prices declined in February, as prices of services and goods slumped on concern a US-Iraq war will hurt the global economy.

Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車), a Taiwanese assembler and distributor of automobiles designed by Nissan Motor Co, fell NT$1.2, or 2.7 percent, to NT$43.20 on concern it will need to cut prices, which may reduce earnings.

The seasonally adjusted consumer price index fell 1.7 percent from the previous month, after staying little changed in January, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting & Statistics.

"Lingering military tension in the Middle East is hurting people's confidence in the economy," said Jean Yeh, who manages NT$1.6 billion (US$46 million) at Grand Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co (大華投信).

The TAIEX shed 20.67, or 0.5 percent, to close at 4,397.44, its lowest level since Oct. 22 when the index closed at 4,386.46.

Decliners outnumbers advancers, with 220 stocks closing higher, 377 lower, and 146 unchanged. Shares worth NT$40.7 billion changed hands in the market, the lowest this year.

MSCI Taiwan futures for February delivery in Singapore rose 0.5 percent to 185.80. The Taiwan Futures Index added 0.2 percent to 4397.

BES Engineering Corp (中華工程) jumped NT$0.20, or 4.1 percent, to NT$5.10. The company, which is in talks with the government for the contract to build a mass rapid transit line from Taipei to CKS international airport, has raised enough funds to finance the project, a local newspaper reported.

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