Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Investor caution returns TAIEX to below 7,000 mark

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.62 percent lower yesterday on profit-taking as investors turned cautious after the market breached the key 7,000-point resistance level shortly after opening, dealers said.

They said the market has made good gains recently as investors anticipate a rally after the March 20 election so quick profit-taking was to be expected. The fact that volumes remain very strong at more than US$7 billion suggest the market will test and then breach 7,000 points again soon.

The TAIEX closed down 43.09 points at 6,932.17, off a high of 7,003.88 and a low of 6,930.01, on turnover of NT$239.9 billion (US$7.18 billion). The index futures for March delivery lost 0.6 percent to 7,012. Losers led gainers 515 to 323, while 135 stocks closed unchanged.

"The modest pullback from above 7,000 points was hardly surprising," said Michael Hsu, assistant vice president at Jih Sun Securities Investment (日盛投顧). "The bourse stands out as a relative outperformer against the corrections in the regional markets."

The momentum is still there and the prospects of an advance through 7,000 points remain intact in the near term, he said.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world's second-largest supplier of made-to-order chips, gained NT$0.30 to NT$33.60. Foreign investors yesterday bought 78 million more UMC shares than they sold, more than any other stock, according to the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (台積電) was down NT$1 at NT$66.

Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) shed NT$1.50 to NT$66.50 and Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) up NT$0.50 at NT$41.20.

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