Sat, Sep 03, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Bourse climbs as firms release earnings reports

AP , TAIPEI

Shares rose yesterday, led by stocks, as investors returned to the market after most listed companies reported their first-half earnings.

The TAIEX advanced 82.58 points, or 1.4 percent, to 6,116.05.

Steel shares gained 3.9 percent as a whole, with China Steel Corp (中鋼), Taiwan's largest steel maker by capacity, up 3 percent at NT$29.1, and Yieh Phui Enterprise (燁輝) soaring 7 percent to NT$14.6.

"Steel shares are relatively undervalued compared with technology stocks, if you consider their very strong profits in the first half," said Maggie Chien, manager at President Securities Corp (統一證券).

China Steel made a net profit of NT$32.79 billion (US$1 billion) in the six months ended June 30, up from NT$22.6 billion a year ago, while Yieh Phui's net profit for the first half came in at NT$1.1 billion, compared with NT$1.07 billion a year ago.

Electronics shares gained 1.4 percent.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world's largest electronics manufacturer, advanced 5.5 percent to NT$146.5.

Derek Lam, Fubon Securities Corp's (富邦證券) head of trading, said the index will likely continue to rise next week as worries over listed firms' first-half earnings recede.

"We had been lagging regional markets for a while, so it's time for us to catch up with them," Lam said, who predicted the index will likely trade between 6,050 and 6,300 next week.

The market saw 773 stocks rise, 168 fall and 101 ending unchanged.

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