Wed, Dec 08, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Investors stay on sidelines ahead of Saturday elections

AP , TAIPEI

Shares ended only marginally higher yesterday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of Saturday's legislative elections, analysts said.

The TAIEX closed 6.11 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 5,925.28.

Turnover fell to NT$51.97 billion (US$1.62 billion) from NT$56.45 billion on Monday, with 329 stocks ending lower, 282 higher and 209 unchanged.

"The market lacks fresh news for investors to act on," said Derek Lam, head of trading at Fubon Securities. "With the election approaching, many would rather stay quiet to be safe."

Foreign investors net sold NT$6.76 billion worth of shares on Monday on uncertainty ahead of the elections.

Government-controlled Mega Financial Holding (兆豐金控), the nation's second-largest financial group, ended up 1 percent at NT$21.30 and Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行), one of three major government-controlled lenders, rose 0.5 percent to NT$20.50.

Index heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, also reversed early losses to end 0.6 percent higher at NT$49.20.

Memory chip stocks outperformed the market, partly because investors expect the spot price of the chips to bottom out soon, Lam said.

Over-the-counter listed Powerchip the country's largest maker of dynamic random access memory chips, rose 3.6 percent to NT$22.90, while main board-listed Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) gained 2.2 percent to NT$23.70.

Caution ahead of the election would prevent the index from making significant gains in the next few days, analysts said.

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