Thu, Jul 17, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Steelmakers lead as TAIEX rallies to a 12-month high


Stocks gained, boosting the TAIEX to its highest in a year. Steelmakers such as China Steel Corp (中鋼) advanced after a Chinese-language newspaper report suggested they may raise prices because of demand from China.

"Steelmakers are benefiting from booming demand powered by the economic recovery," said Reming Yu, who oversees the equivalent of US$4.2 billion in stocks at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信).

"Spending on infrastructure also helped," Yu said.

The TAIEX climbed 78.01, or 1.5 percent, to 5,413.87. That's its highest since July 12 last year. About five stocks gained for each declined. July futures on the index rose 1.9 percent to 5,429.

About 6.8 billion shares changed hands on a turnover of NT$151.2 billion.

China Steel rose NT$1.40, or 5.5 percent, to NT$27.

Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp (東和), a maker of steel plates, jumped NT$0.75, or 6.6 percent, to NT$12.15.

Feng Hsin Iron & Steel Co (豐興), which specializes in reinforced steel bars used in construction projects, advanced NT$1.70, or 6.8 percent, to NT$26.80. Wei Chih Steel Industrial (威致), a steel-rod maker, gained NT$0.40, or 6.7 percent, to NT$6.35.

The government plans to spend NT$128 billion (US$3.7 billion) to boost jobs and revive the economy.

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) fell NT$0.50, or 1 percent, to NT$50.50. The government may meet its goal of selling 13.8 percent of the company to raise about US$2 billion.

Investors swamped arrangers Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Merrill Lynch & Co and UBS AG with applications to buy American depositary receipts, said an official at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, who declined to be identified.

AU Optronics (友達), the nation's largest flat-panel maker, gained 4.7 percent to NT$33.6.

Big gainers

* China Steel rose 5.5 percent.

* Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp added 6.6 percent.

* Feng Hsin Iron & Steel Co soared 6.8 percent.

* Wei Chih Steel Industrial rose 6.7 percent.

* Chi Mei Optoelectronics ended 6.9 percent higher.

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (奇美), the nation's second largest flat-panel maker, ended 6.9 percent higher at NT$35.9.

Hannstar Display Corp (瀚羽 彩晶), the fourth-largest maker of flat-panel displays, rose NT$0.50, or 3.3 percent, to NT$15.60.

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