Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX gains led by China Steel

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Stocks rose to their highest level in almost three-and-a-half years yesterday. China Steel Corp (中鋼) advanced after saying it plans to increase the local price of its products in the second quarter.

"China's fast-growing economy has started to cause shortages in construction materials such as steel," said Tom Fu, a fund manager at Prudential Securities Investment Trust Co (保誠投信) in Taiwan.

The TAIEX advanced 57.29, or 0.9 percent, to close at 6,750.54. That is its highest close since Sept. 21, 2000. The index climbed 5.9 percent this month, its third straight month of gains.

Futures for March delivery added 1 percent to close at 6,802.

About seven stocks gained for every three that declined.

China Steel jumped 4.6 percent to close at NT$34. The company plans to boost prices for six types of products starting April 1.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, rose NT$.10, or 0.3 percent, to NT$30.40 after saying it would buy the semiconductor plant of Silicon Integrated Systems Corp (矽統) for NT$10.7 billion (US$321.5 million) to meet demand for chips after a three-year global slump. Silicon Integrated shed 2.5 percent to close at NT$27.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) rose 5.4 percent to close at NT$33.30. The company and three others won a contract to provide the government with an electronic toll-collection system for the nation's highways.

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