■ TAIEX slides lower
Share prices closed 0.50 percent lower yesterday, with sentiment undermined by the Wall Street's overnight weakness and a further depreciation in the New Taiwan dollar, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed down 30.82 points at 6,119.06, on turnover of NT$57.24 billion (US$1.75 billion).
"Investors were preparing for short-term plays as they expect the market to extend its consolidation," said Samson Chueh, an assistant vice president at Fuhwa Securities.
"They were reluctant to build position because the bourse is looking to define a bottom," he said.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) dropped 0.58 percent to NT$51.60 as late selling eroded early gains driven by a solid increase in August sales, while United Microelectronic Corp (聯電) fell 0.97 percent to NT$20.40.
Continental Engineering Corp (大陸工程), the major investor in Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵), fell 2.58 percent to NT$13.25 after THSRC decided to delay the opening of its bullet train services by a year to October next year.
■ Feelings of poverty widespread
Eighty-five percent of the respondents to a survey conducted by Chinese-language Winner Magazine (贏家雜誌) feel they are "poor," according to the survey results released yesterday.
Faced with poverty, 64 percent of those polled around the country cited practicing thrift as the way to deal with the problem, while 47 percent chose to better manage their money and 46 percent cited moonlighting.
The Taipei-based monthly journal announced the results of the online survey yesterday at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan. The poll, carried out Aug. 1 to Aug. 20, received a total of 1,391 valid samples and had a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points on a 95 percent confidence level.
The survey also found that 79 percent of the respondents said their wages did not cover their spending, while 70 percent said prices of basic necessities were increasing, 47 percent expressed worry over Taiwan's economic future and 44 percent said they believe their quality of life has dropped.
To deal with increasing prices of commodities, 70 percent of those surveyed said they have reduced spending on entertainment, 47 percent said they try to make more money and 45 percent said they dine at home as often as possible.
■ Taiwan, Vietnam in WTO talks
Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) has led a government delegation to Vietnam for bilateral consultations on Vietnam's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), MOEA officials said Friday.
Taiwan and Vietnam have tentatively agreed on tariff reduction on more than 200 industrial and agricultural products from each side, with the reduction rates averaging about 20 percent, the MOEA officials said.
■ NT dollar down farther
The New Taiwan dollar had its fifth weekly decline on speculation the central bank will sell its currency after the yen fell, as it tries to prevent further narrowing in the trade surplus by spurring exports.
"The central bank probably prefers the Taiwan dollar with a weakening bias after the yen fell," said Augustine Wang, a currency trader at Chinese Bank (中華銀行) in Taipei. "A falling Taiwan dollar will help boost exports."
The NT dollar yesterday declined NT$0.004 to close at NT$32.750 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. For the week, the local currency has dropped by 0.7 percent against the greenback.
Turnover was US$867 million, up from US$745.5 million the previous day.
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