Tue, Oct 07, 2003 - Page 11 News List

US jobs reports boosts Taiwanese stocks

EMPLOYMENT GROWTH A report showing that the US' much puzzled-over' jobless recovery' might not be so jobless after all gave the TAIEX a healthy boost

BLOOMBERG

Stocks rose for a third day yesterday, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), after a US report showed the world's biggest economy added jobs last month for the first time in eight months.

"The US economy is showing solid signs of growing," said Simon Chao (趙永宏), who manages US$17 million at President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信).

The "US recovery will fuel growth for Taiwanese exporters," he said.

The US is Taiwan's second-largest export market.

The TAIEX rose 103.41, or 1.8 percent, to 5,851.20. It has risen 4.8 percent in three days. About eight stocks gained for every three that fell. The futures contract for October delivery rose 1.5 percent to 5,829.

TSMC, the world's largest maker of computer chips on a subcontracting basis, advanced NT$1, or 1.4 percent, to NT$71. Rival UMC increased NT$0.90, or 3.1 percent, to NT$30.40.

The US economy added 57,000 jobs last month, the US Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate held at 6.1 percent.

Chinatrust Financial Holdings Co (中國信託金控) rose NT$1.40, or 4.7 percent, to NT$31.10 after the <> cited Chinatrust's president Luo Lian-Fu (羅聯福) as saying Chinatrust may buy a stake in a Chinese bank as soon as restrictions ease.

Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控), the nation's third-largest financial company by market value, gained NT$1.20, or 6.7 percent, to NT$19.10. The lender said it plans to spend as much as NT$5 billion (US$148 million) to buy back a 2.26 percent stake in the company in the next two months. Mega Financial plans to buy back as many as 250 million shares for as much as NT$20, the lender said in a statement to Taiwan's stock exchange.

Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠), the country's largest polyester maker, gained NT$1.60, or 3.9 percent, to NT$42.20 after a fire at one of Honam Petrochemical Corp plants disrupted its operations.

Friday's fire halted one of three plants that make high-density polyethylene, a recyclable plastic used to make bottles.

Honam's damaged plant in Yeosu, south of Seoul, probably won't resume operations for a month, said a company official.

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), an affiliated company of Nan Ya Plastic, rose NT$1.50, or 3.1 percent, to NT$49.70.

Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技), the country's largest maker of computer monitors, rose NT$0.30, or 0.8 percent, to NT$36.30.

Lite-On said last month's sales almost tripled to NT$9.4 billion after the company absorbed four smaller units. Sales rose from NT$3.2 billion in September a year ago and NT$8.2 billion in August this year.

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