Taiwanese share prices closed little changed yesterday in light trade as Wall Street-driven gains were offset by concerns over the Taiwan dollar's continued weakness against the US dollar, dealers said.
With the local unit under pressure, highlighting concerns over possible fund outflows, steel stocks outperformed on hopes they will benefit from reconstruction orders due to Hurricane Katrina and get an additional export boost due to the weaker Taiwan dollar.
The TAIEX closed up 4.35 points at 6,035.59, off a high of 6,050.40 and a low of 6,023.08, on turnover of NT$46.21 billion (US$1.4 billion).
Decliners led gainers 509 to 373, with 175 stocks unchanged. Eight stocks closed limit-up, while 14 were limit-down.
The steel sector was up 2.25 percent, food rose 1.35 percent and electronics 0.21 percent while tourism fell 1.48 percent.
The New Taiwan dollar closed at NT$33.069 to the US dollar, compared with the previous close of NT$32.931.
"The local currency's softening to below NT$33 [to the US dollar] cast a cloud over capital flows," said Fubon Securities Corp (富邦證券) senior vice president Frank Lin.
"Foreign investors are now adopting a wait-and-see stance but the currency issue has unnerved [investor] sentiment," he said, adding that the light turnover reflects the more cautious tone.
China Steel Corp (
Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose NT$0.60 to NT$53.20 after a report that it is scheduled to take delivery soon of 45-nanometer technology machinery while foundry rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) gained NT$0.50 to NT$21.00.
VIA Technologies Inc (
Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) fell NT$0.30 to NT$9.40 while Quanta Display Corp (廣輝電子) rose NT$0.15 to NT$11.15 after both said they currently have no concrete plans for a merger or any other form of consolidation.