Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX falls to near one-year low on record oil highs

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Stocks fell to a near one-year low yesterday, led by exporters such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), after US oil prices rose to a new record and a US report showed consumer spending slid in June.

The TAIEX index shed 50.35, or 0.9 percent, to 5,316.87, the lowest since Aug. 12 last year. About five shares fell for each that rose. The index futures for August lost 0.5 percent to 5,254.

The value of trading was NT$39.64 billion (US$1.15 billion), the second lowest so far this year, after the NT$37.82 billion recorded on July 26.

"The oil price surge will be a nightmare for oil-dependent Asian countries," said Kevin Yang (楊師銘), vice president of International Investment Trust Co (國際投信).

Overnight, September crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to US$44.15 a barrel, as traders worried that global oil production was falling behind demand.

TSMC, the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, fell 0.5 percent to NT$43.80, while rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) slid 0.9 percent to NT$21.6.

Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), the world's largest maker of motherboards, fell 2.7 percent to NT$73.50. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the nation's biggest electronics company by sales, slipped 0.4 percent to NT$121.50.

Shares of companies that make flat-panel displays reversed early losses to end higher, with AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) up 1.6 percent to NT$39, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) up 1.4 percent to NT$43.4.

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