Sat, Jun 11, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Greenspan: interest rate hikes `at a measured pace'

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.76 percent higher yesterday, supported by a firmer Wall Street after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's congressional testimony, which provided some reassurance on the US economic outlook and "measured pace" of interest rate hikes, dealers said.

There was some profit-taking in early trade but bellwether electronics and other stocks sustained their gains on expectations of continued purchases by foreign investors after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Intel Corp upgraded their second quarter guidance, they said.

The TAIEX closed up 46.43 points at 6,192.35, on turnover of NT$88.62 billion (US$2.83 billion).

TSMC, the world's leading made-to-order chipmaker, was up NT$0.10 at NT$58.10 after raising its guidance for the second quarter after market close Thursday. The company raised its estimates for shipments, utilization rate and gross margin for the three months to June. United Microelectronic Corp (聯電) was up NT$0.10 at NT$23.40 after reporting further share buybacks over the past two sessions. DRAM makers were also largely firmer on favorable spot and contract prices, with Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) up 0.35 at 23.65 and Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) unchanged at 21.35.

"Next week is critical for the share prices to reach the new height of 6,267 points with electronics the main attraction," said Alex Huang, an analyst at Barits International Securities.

TSMC will go ex-dividend on June 13 after raising its estimates for shipments, utilization rate and gross margin for the three months to June.

"In particular, Hon Hai's look on the bourse will definitely affect the sentiment as its forecasts in the past two years were known to be quite accurate," Huang said.

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