Fri, Mar 25, 2005 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX slumps as overseas funds dump their shares

AP AND BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Shares closed lower yesterday ahead of a planned anti-China protest over the weekend and on suspected net share sales by overseas investors. The TAIEX finished 18.49 points, or 0.3 percent, lower at 6,001.

Dealings were valued at NT$72.2 billion (US$2.29 billion).

Decliners outnumbered advancers 497 to 353, while 166 issues ended the day unchanged.

Fund managers abroad dumped NT$5.16 billion of shares yesterday, following net sales of NT$9.3 billion of equities the previous day, the most since March 17, according to stock exchange figures. Net foreign stock sales of NT$51 billion since March 14 have helped weaken the New Taiwan dollar 2.1 percent.

The local currency fell 0.3 percent to NT$31.464 against its US counterpart, its lowest close since Feb. 21, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency traded as low as NT$31.515, the weakest since Feb. 22.

On the local bourse, steel stocks fell most, by 1.7 percent overall. Investors are concerned North American steel demand is weaker than usual for this time of year, dealers said.

China Steel Corp (中鋼), one of Asia's largest steel producers, fell 1.8 percent to NT$35.35 and Chung Hung Steel Corp (中鴻) dropped 3.1 percent to NT$19.

Computer memory chipmakers succumbed to declines in spot memory chip prices, analysts said. Over-the-counter-listed Powerchip Semiconductor (力晶半導體) lost 0.8 percent to NT$24.3, while ProMOS Technologies (茂德科技) dropped 0.8 percent to NT$13.2.

But most chipmakers gained after the closely watched Philadelphia chip index rose 1.2 percent overnight.

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