Tue, Feb 22, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Second day's gain thanks to older industry shares

AP AND BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Shares ended higher yesterday for the second session in a row, supported by older industry shares like transportation, steel and rubber.

But Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), Taiwan's second-largest financial services group by market value, fell 7 percent, the the daily maximum for stock fluctuations on the local bourse, for the first time in more than two years on last-minute selling.

The TAIEX finished 27.35 points higher, or 0.5 percent, at 6,142.78 in dealings valued at NT$99.02 billion (US$4.1 billion). Advancers outnumbered decliners 593 to 238, while 156 issues ended the day unchanged.

The transportation subindex led gainers, adding 2.4 percent on the day after the closely watched Baltic Exchange Dry Index rose 1.7 percent on Friday.

Airlines led the sector. EVA Airways Corp (長榮) rose 3.9 percent to NT$15.90 and rival China Airlines (華航) added 1.1 percent to NT$17.90.

A dealer at Taiwan Securities in Taipei credited the strong performance in part to optimism that Taiwan and China may agree on direct cargo flights after passenger charter flights were allowed during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Shares of steel and rubber producers also rose, buoyed by higher global prices and expectations of increased demand for copper and other materials from China.

China Steel Corp (中鋼) gained 0.3 percent to NT$36.20, while Chung Hung Steel Corp (中鴻) climbed 4.8 percent to NT$22.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose 0.9 percent to NT$54.50, after its US-listed shares gained 1.4 percent on Friday.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) fell 0.5 percent to NT$20.30. UMC's American Depositary Receipts rose 2.8 percent on Friday, but an ongoing government probe into the firm's alleged illegal investment in China still hangs over the stock.

Shares of Fubon fell NT$2.20 to NT$29.50. Fubon shares had traded normally until the last minutes of trading, when increased selling, which accounted for one-fifth of yesterday's total trading, sent the stock down, said Kevin Yang, who manages the equivalent of US$90 million as vice president of International Investment Trust Co (國際投信).

"It's probably because foreign funds sold in the last minutes or someone sold it wrong," said Yang, adding that he had not heard of negative news that may have accounted for the selling.

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