Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX jumps sharply in strongest session this year

AP AND BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Shares ended sharply higher yesterday in the strongest session so far this year, boosted by gains in technology shares, as well as transportation and tourism stocks.

The TAIEX finished 114.3 points higher, or 1.9 percent, at 5,994.23 in dealings valued at NT$99.7 billion (US$3.1 billion). Advancers outnumbered decliners 741 to 104, while 135 issues ended the day unchanged.

Overseas fund managers last week bought a net US$126 million of Taiwan's shares, according to stock-exchange figures, helping the local currency strengthen 0.4 percent.

"The stock index jumped, so people are expecting equity purchases by overseas investors were more than usual, helping the Taiwan dollar," said Joseph Lee, a foreign-exchange trader in Taipei at Cathay United Bank (聯邦銀行).

The NT dollar rose NT$0.012 to close at NT$31.790 against its US counterpart in Taipei. The currency climbed as high as NT$31.768, its strongest since Jan. 3.

On the local bourse, yesterday's rise was led by technology shares, which were 2.4 percent higher overall.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (台積電), the world's largest made-to-order chip supplier, finished up 4 percent to NT$52, following its settlement of a patent suit with its Chinese rival, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (中芯國際集成電路).

Flat panel display makers also made large gains on renewed optimism for demand this year. Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) ended up 6.7 percent to NT$45.9 and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) ended up 5.9 percent at NT$48.3. Panel shares were the most actively traded stocks on the bourse yesterday.

Tourism and transportation shares were among the strongest performing sectors, rising after Saturday's first direct non-stop charter flights between Taiwan and China in over half a century.

China Airlines (華航) finished up 1.7 percent to NT$17.8, while Eva Airways Corp (長榮) ended 3.4 percent higher to NT$15.2.

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