Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Worry over effect of bin Laden tape drives shares down

AP , TAIPEI

Shares ended lower yesterday on concerns a new videotape of Osama bin Laden threatening the US could spark panic selling on Wall Street on the last trading session before the US presidential election day.

The TAIEX finished 49.76 points, or 0.9 percent, lower at 5,656.17 in dealings valued at NT$52.5 billion (US$1.56 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 515 to 148, while 123 issues ended the day unchanged.

"The closer it got to the end of the session, the more it dawned on investors that the bin Laden tape could pummel Wall Street tonight, if US futures are any indication," said Andrew Teng (鄧安瀾), a manager with Taiwan International Securities Corp (金鼎證券).

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), Taiwan's largest maker of dynamic-random-access-memory chips, was the most traded stock yesterday, ending 6.7 percent lower at NT$23.8.

"While DRAM as an industry churned out pretty good third-quarter results on the back of a rebound in DRAM spot prices, investors aren't holding their breath for more good news," said Diana Wu, an analyst at Capital Securities Co (群益證券).

Elsewhere in the technology sector, makers of liquid-crystal-display panels fell across the board as excess inventory continues to depress panel prices, with AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest flat-panel maker, down 6.7 percent at NT$33.20.

Smaller peer Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) tumbled 6.6 percent to NT$32.70.

Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the nation's largest container shipper, rose 3.1 percent to NT$29.70.

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