Tue, Oct 14, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX rises to 17-month high

BRIGHTER OUTLOOK Legislative changes to the law governing cross-strait relations and good liquidity were credited for sending the TAIEX up 1.8 percent yesterday

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The TAIEX climbed to a 17-month high yesterday, with sentiment boosted by good liquidity and legislative approval of the cross-strait civil relations law late last Thursday, dealers said. Wall Street's rally on Thursday also propped up the broader market yesterday, they added.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) led gains after computer-related companies reported a surge in sales last month, signaling faster earnings growth.

"Leading companies have all showed solid sales growth in the latest reports, brightening the outlook for their profit figures in the third quarter," said Simon Chao (趙永宏), who helps manage US$305 million in stock investments at President Investment Trust Corp (統一投信).

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation's largest life insurer, rallied after saying it will raise premiums on new policies next year to narrow the gap between guaranteed payout on policies and record-low interest rates.

The TAIEX jumped 102.59, or 1.8 percent, to 5,972.47, extending its 0.8 percent gain Thursday. The market closed at its highest since April 30 last year.

About two stocks rose for every one that fell. The futures contract for October delivery advanced 1.9 percent to 6,004.

About 6 billion shares changed hands, 41 percent above the average daily trading in the past three months. Shares worth NT$125.6 billion traded, 28 percent above the three-month daily average.

TSMC climbed NT$1, or 1.5 percent, to NT$70. The world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, said sales last month rose 48 percent to NT$18.9 billion (US$562 million), a record. United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) rose NT$0.20, or 0.7 percent, to NT$30.50. Its sales last month rose 25 percent from a year ago to NT$7.5 billion.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the country's biggest electronics maker by revenue, gained NT$1, or 0.7 percent, to NT$154. Last month's sales jumped 62 percent to NT$36.6 billion from a year ago, the company said.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光), the world's second-largest chip packager, rose NT$0.70, or 2.6 percent, to NT$27.60. Last month's sales rose 40 percent to NT$2.9 billion from a year ago, the company said. Sales increased from NT$2.6 billion in the previous month.

Technology issues accounted for only 36 percent of the day's trading volume, which indicated "some hesitancy" among investors as the market edged toward 6,000, said Rex Lin, ING Financial Markets' vice president of equities.

"The big question is whether 6,000 is the ceiling or the support, and the jury's still out on that one," he said.

Cathay Financial rose NT$3.20, or 6.6 percent, to NT$52. Chinatrust Financial Holding (中信金控) rose 2.5 percent to NT$32.30. The sector was also boosted by the prospect of a merger between SinoPac Holdings Co (建華金控) and another major financial institution, traders said. SinoPac climbed 5 percent to NT$19.

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