Wed, May 18, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

AGENCIES

■ TAIEX sheds 31.87 points

Shares ended lower yesterday, led by petrochemical and plastics issues. The TAIEX closed down 31.87 points at 5,894.01, on turnover of NT$56.51 billion (US$1.8 billion). "Petrochem and plastics shares fell on weaker-than-expected demand and as more investors bet on their downside after the removal of a short-selling ban," said Harvey Chang, an analyst at United Securities Investment Trust (統一投信). Formosa Chemicals & Fiber (台灣化纖) plunged 3.7 percent to NT$59.6, and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) lost 2 percent to NT$62.6.

■ Energy use rose in March

Energy consumption rose 2.1 percent from a year earlier in March because temperatures fell compared with a year ago, increasing the need for fuel used to heat water, the Bureau of Energy said on its Web site yesterday. The nation burned the equivalent of 9.14 million kiloliters (57 million barrels) of oil in March, with industrial companies, including manufacturers and construction companies, accounting for 58 percent of that consumption, the bureau said. Residential users consumed 7.5 percent more energy in March as temperatures dropped.

■ NT dollar gains ground

The New Taiwan dollar rose against its US counterpart for the first day in four, dropping NT$0.039 to close at NT$31.372 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$578 million, down from US$788 million the previous day.

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