Fri, Feb 04, 2005 - Page 10 News List

TAIEX gains while NT hits high

LAST DAY Ahead of the New Year break, trade was cautious, while on the foreign exchange market, speculation pushed the NT dollar to a four-year high

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

An investor applies make-up as she waits for the market to close on the last day of trading for the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday. The TAIEX closed up 15.91 points to 6034.60, with total trading turnover valued at NT$73.26 billion.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SONG, TAIPEI TIMES

Share prices closed 0.26 percent higher yesterday in cautious trade, with investors unwilling to push the market too far ahead in the last session before the week-long Lunar New Year break, dealers said.

They said foreign investors continued to be in evidence, attracted by the prospect of gains in both Asian stocks and currencies, and this provided support.

The TAIEX closed up 15.91 points at 6,034.60, on turnover of NT$73.26 billion (US$2.31 billion).

Risers led decliners 369 to 364, with 250 stocks unchanged.

On the Taipei foreign exchange market, the New Taiwan dollar rose to its highest close in more than four years on speculation investors abroad will increase demand for the country's stocks.

Overseas fund managers on Wednesday bought a net NT$14 billion of Taiwanese shares, the most since Oct. 4, according to stock exchange figures. They added NT$7.4 billion of equities yesterday.

The stock market closes for the Lunar New Year from today and investors have three business days to settle purchases. But other financial markets will be open through tomorrow. All of the nation's financial markets will reopen Feb. 14.

"Market participants are speculating overseas investors will buy more stocks, helping the NT dollar," said Joseph Lee, a currency trader in Taipei at Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行).

The NT dollar rose NT$0.060, or 0.2 percent, to NT$31.639 against its US counterpart, its strongest close since Oct. 12, 2000.

Yuanta Core Pacific Securities (元大京華證券) assistant vice president Oliver Fang said that overall there was little real change, with the market roughly in balance on the day. While many opted out ahead of the holiday, a number of foreign investors continued to build positions here, Fang said.

Most technology heavyweights finished higher yesterday, on hopes a recovery in the sector may be imminent.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation's largest flat-screen maker, rose 1.7 percent to NT$49, while Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) gained 2.9 percent to NT$46.10.

Investors are hoping local panel makers will follow their South Korean counterparts and raise prices on 17-inch screens.

Dealers are unsure flat panel stocks can sustain their gains, however. Paul Wang, a trader at Fubon Securities (富邦證券), said both Samsung Electronics Co and LG.Philips LCD's shipments have fallen after previous price hikes.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) was flat at NT$53.50 while United Microelectronic Corp (聯電) fell 2.4 percent to NT$20.40 after the company said on Wednesday its operations would likely worsen in the current quarter, and might not recover until the second half of the year.

This story has been viewed 3549 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top