Fri, Jul 11, 2003 - Page 11 News List

UMC sales figures for last month fuel decline in stocks

BLOOMBERG

Stocks fell for a second day yesterday, led by United Microelec-tronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), after some investors said the nation's second-largest computer-chip maker posted disappointing sales figures for last month.

The TAIEX fell 76.53, or 1.4 percent, to 5,282.38. Index futures shed 2.3 percent to 5,252. Within the index, 284 stocks rose, 257 fell and 76 were unchanged.

Shares of UMC fell NT$1.60, or 5.9 percent, to NT$25.50. The company said on Wednesday that sales last month rose 4.5 percent to NT$7 billion (US$204 million). Some investors had expected a bigger increase.

"UMC's sales weren't good," said James Liu, who manages the equivalent of US$73 million at ING CHB Securities Investment Trust Co, including shares of UMC.

"The numbers probably trig-gered a sell-off," he said.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) fell NT$3, or 5 percent, to NT$57.5. Its shares have gained about 50 percent since the end of April.

TSMC's relative strength index, based on its 14-day moving average, reached 73 on Wednesday and indicated to some technical analysts that the average was poised to fall.

"A correction is necessary," said Louis Lee, who helps manage the equivalent of US$41 million for President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信).

"Some shares have gained 50 percent and more in recent months," he said.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) fell NT$0.40, or 1.7 percent, to NT$23.10. The lender fired Citigroup Inc from arranging a US$700 million global share sale by after a dispute over the price of the stock on offer.

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