Sat, Dec 20, 2003 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX declines, paced by Hon Hai and Yulon Motor

BLOOMBERG AND AFP , TAIPEI

Stocks fell yesterday, led by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車) on concern that SARS may return.

The TAIEX shed 9.53, or 0.2 percent, to 5,759.23. The Taiwan futures index rose 0.4 percent to 5,800.

Decliners beat risers 433 to 283, while 212 counters ended the session unchanged. Trading volume was valued at NT$56.72 billion (US$1.66 billion), the smallest since Dec. 8's NT$47.8 billion (US$1.39 billion).

"Certain fund managers are still locking in profits for year-end window-dressing," Grand Cathay Securities Corp (大華證券) executive vice president Tu Jin-lung (杜金龍) said.

"The muted trade showed that investors prefer to stay on the sidelines ahead of the parliament's review of referendum rules," Tu said.

Although the the 44-year-old medical researcher who contracted SARS is likely to be an isolated case, investors worry that the patient may have transmitted the flu-like virus to others.

"The fear of SARS is still lingering," said Fam Hsieh, a fund manager at Grand Cathay Securities Trust Co (大華投信).

"It might take few more days before investors will believe the deadly disease didn't spread," Hsieh said.

Hon Hai Precision, the nation's largest electronics manufacturer, fell NT$2.50, or 1.9 percent, to NT$132. Yulon Motor, one of the country's top three carmakers, fell NT$0.20, or 0.5 percent, to NT$41.80.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's biggest motherboard maker, fell NT$1, or 1.3 percent, to NT$75.50.

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