Thu, Sep 30, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Slump in steel shares caused by profit-taking

AP , TAIPEI

Shares ended down yesterday as profit-taking caused a slump in steel shares, dealers said.

The TAIEX finished 39.47 points lower, or 0.7 percent, at 5,809.75. Dealings were valued at NT$74.86 billion (US$2.19 billion).

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 469 to 201, while 147 issues ended the day unchanged.

Steel shares led the decline as investors took profits amid a bull run for the sector, dealers said. The steel and iron subindex ended down 4 percent, leading decliners.

"Investors were pulling out of non-tech sectors today," said Alex Kao, a vice president at Masterlink Securities.

Traders will shift some investment to electronics in the near term, and the finance and petrochemical sectors should remain firm, Kao said.

Blue chip China Steel Corp (中鋼) dropped 2.9 percent to NT$34.1 while Yieh Hsing Enterprise Co (燁興) lost 6.4 percent to NT$11.

By contrast, makers of computer memory chips enjoyed one of their best days in weeks, after a Chinese-language business daily reported that global personal computer makers have been actively buying memory chips ahead of the Christmas holidays. The DRAM shortage is expected to continue into the first quarter of 2005, the paper said.

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