Thu, Jul 01, 2004 - Page 11 News List

US techs' upsurge, rising Japanese demand for flat panels boost TAIEX

AP , TAIPEI

Shares ended sharply higher yesterday, boosted by news of rising Japanese demand for flat panels and tracking overnight gains in US technology issues, analysts said.

The TAIEX finished up 97.92 points, or 1.7 percent, at 5,839.44, in dealings valued at NT$76.81 billion (US$2.27 billion).

Advancers well outnumbered decliners 446 to 283, while 205 issues ended the day unchanged.

Chip giants led gains. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose 5 percent to NT$48.4, while rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) also added 5 percent to end at NT$25.

Japan also played a part in the rise of some of the best performing stocks yesterday, analysts said. Japanese sales of liquid-crystal-display televisions surpassed that of traditional cathode ray tubes for the first time last year, a local report said. LCD and plasma TV sales grew 60 percent last year, while CRT sales shrank 25 percent, the report said.

"Panel stocks were stronger than expected today as traders got news of Japan's LCD demand," said Diana Wu, an analyst at Capital Securities Co (群益證券).

Panel supplier Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) rose 2.9 percent to NT$54.

Larger rival AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), which is increasing the weight of LCD TVs in its product mix, saw shares ended 2.2 percent higher at NT$51.

However, memory chip makers were relatively weaker due to concerns that manufacturers plan to improve production technology and increase supply this month, Wu said.

"Investors are worried that the transition may not be smooth," she said.

ProMOS Technologies Ltd (茂德科技) was 1.6 percent lower at NT$18.1, though Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) rose 1.1 percent to NT$27.1 on an upbeat outlook for the second half of the year.

Wu said the bourse has a shot at testing 5,900 today if the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, and if it says further rate hikes will be very gradual.

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