Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Stocks climb for sixth day as TSMC leads

BLOOMBERG

Stocks climbed for a sixth session yesterday. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order computer chips, led rivals higher after saying sales last month jumped 14 percent from a year ago.

Computer-related shares such as Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the nation's largest notebook computer maker, advanced after a Goldman, Sachs & Co survey of corporate executives indicated a drop in technology spending is almost over.

"Demand in the technology sector has certainly improved," said Fam Hsieh, who manages the US$35 million Balance Fund at Grand Cathay Securities Trust Co (大華投信). Hsieh's fund has rallied 22 percent since May.

"Companies like TSMC have proved with concrete sales figures that this isn't just hype," Hsieh said.

The TAIEX added 45.71, or 0.9 percent, to close at5,367.97, its highest in almost a year. The benchmark has surged 10 percent this month. About six shares gained for every five that declined. July futures on the index rose 0.2 percent to 5,382.

About 8.2 billion shares changed hands, the busiest trading in at least three years. Shares worth NT$196.6 billion (US$5.7 billion) were traded, the highest since Jan. 24 last year.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's fourth-largest maker of flat-panel displays for personal computers and other electronic products, advanced after the government said exports rose 3.4 percent last month from a year earlier.

The Ministry of Finance on Monday forecast exports to the US and China will increase in the second half after the World Health Organization on Saturday declared the global SARS epidemic "contained" after removing Taiwan as last on its list of infected places.

The government is counting on exports rising 7 percent this year to meet its projection of 2.89 percent economic growth.

A survey last month by Goldman Sachs of expected information technology spending this year showed outlays will probably be little changed from a year earlier. In April, the outlook predicted a decline of 3.2 percent, Goldman analyst Laura Conigliaro wrote in a note to clients.

TSMC climbed NT$1, or 1.6 percent, to NT$62.

United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) added NT$0.60, or 2.2 percent, to NT$27.80.

Quanta Computer, which counts Dell Computer Corp as its biggest client, gained NT$1.50, or 1.7 percent, to NT$89. AU Optronics, which supplies computer flat panels to Dell, rallied NT$1.90, or 6.5 percent, to NT$31.10.

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