Sat, Dec 18, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Stocks edge down slightly as investors move to sidelines

AFP , Taipei

Share prices closed 0.16 percent lower yesterday in quiet trade after Wall Street's mixed performance overnight, dealers said.

They said that after a slightly better week overall, many investors preferred to take to the sidelines ahead of the weekend.

The TAIEX closed down 9.91 points at 6,009.32, on turnover of NT$60.21 billion (US$1.86 billion).

Decliners led gainers 373 to 295, with 175 stocks unchanged.

The electronics sector was down 0.49 percent and financials down 0.11 percent while the construction sector rose 2.7 percent and cement added 2.22 percent.

"Investors stayed on the sidelines, given expectations of pressure on the index at around the annual moving average of 6,033 points," said Johnny Lee, a manager with President Securities Corp (統一證券).

"They were also reluctant to make any aggressive moves before parliament's decision on select major bills" such as a revision on the statute of the Financial Restructuring Fund (金融重建基金).

While large-cap electronics and financials lost steam, select old-economy stocks were firmer on hopes of rising demands.

Lee said the construction sector extended its rally, with investors more confident that purchases will increase now that the uncertainty of last Saturday's legislative polls are out of the way.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) ended down 0.4 percent at NT$49.8 while rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) shed 0.5 percent to NT$20.1.

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) shed 1.9 percent at NT$42.5 after news that it is preparing for a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Japan's Semiconductor Energy Laboratory.

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