Fri, Jul 04, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Biggest trading day in a year for TAIEX

BLOOMBERG

Stocks gained in the heaviest trading day in more than a year yesterday. Computer-related stocks such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), rose after a Merrill Lynch & Co said demand for personal computers will improve and recommended investors buy Microsoft Corp. shares.

The TAIEX added 0.07 points to 5,095.31. It had risen as much as 102.48 points, or 2 percent, in early trading before a sell off in the last hour of trade. About two stocks declined for every one that gained.

July futures on the index fell 0.4 percent to 5,122.

An estimated 7.8 billion shares changed hands, the highest since April 25 last year. The value of trading was NT$146.3 billion ($4.8 billion), the most since April last year.

China Steel Corp (中鋼), which gained 19 percent last month, declined as investors worried its gain outpaced the company's profit growth, said Barro Liao, who manages Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co's US$53 million High-Tech Fund in Taipei.

Quanta, the nation's largest notebook computer maker, rose NT$1.5, or 2 percent, to NT$77. United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest maker of computer chips on a subcontracting basis, rose NT$0.70, or 3 percent, to NT$24.10.

"Demand for computers is certainly booming as new models come on stream and people replace obsolete PCs they bought ahead of the Y2K bug," Liao said.

Liao's fund gained 8.2 percent in the past 12 months, compared with the index's 0.9 percent rise over the same period.

Merrill Lynch analyst Jason Maynard raised his rating on Microsoft to "buy" from "neutral." He raised his fiscal 2004 profit estimate and said Microsoft may boost its dividend.

China Steel dropped NT$0.50, or 2.1 percent, to NT$23.60.

"People are taking profit on stocks with significant gains," Liao said.

Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co (太平洋電線電纜), the country's biggest copper-wire maker, fell NT$0.02, or 1.8 percent, to NT$1.10. It said it faces delisting from the Taiwan stock market if it fails to submit restated results for the last five years.

The Taipei Prosecu-tor's Office has started investigating former Pacific Electric chairman Jack Sun (孫道存) after shareholders accused him of embezzling company assets, a Chinese-language newspaper said.

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