Thu, Dec 01, 2005 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX posts best month since January last year

UPSWING TSMC and Hon Hai led gainers, on a report that the government may ease rules on investing in China, while exporters got a boost from new US data

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The TAIEX rose yesterday, completing its best month in almost two years.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) paced gains on a newspaper report that the government may ease restrictions on investment in China after Saturday's election.

Exporters such as Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) advanced after US reports showed durable goods orders rose more than forecast in October, and consumer confidence climbed this month.

The index rose 63.96, or 1 percent, to 6,203.47.

About three stocks gained for every two that declined.

The TAIEX advanced 7.6 percent last month, its biggest monthly gain since January last year.

"A more open cross-strait policy will benefit many Taiwanese companies that have invested in China and cut costs from direct transport links," said Charles Chen, who manages the equivalent of US$150 million at JF Asset Management Co in Taipei.

"The US reports help boost exporters as fourth-quarter consumer confidence looks strong," he said.

Taiwan may ease restrictions on cross-strait investments and direct charter flights after elections, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday, without saying where it obtained the information.

The government may also allow more Chinese tourists to visit, the newspaper said.

TSMC, the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, rose NT$1.70, or 2.9 percent, to NT$59.50. Hon Hai, the nation's largest electronics company by sales, gained NT$5, or 3 percent, to NT$169.50.

Asustek Computer, the nation's largest maker of boards that connect the chips in personal computers, rose NT$0.90, or 1 percent, to NT$95.

Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the biggest notebook-computer maker globally, added NT$1.30, or 2.6 percent, to NT$51.40.

Meanwhile, the New Taiwan (NT) dollar advanced against the US dollar yesterday on the Taipei Foreign Exchange, rising NT$0.04 to close at NT$33.516. A total of US$805 million changed hands during the day's trading.

The NT dollar had its first monthly advance in seven after overseas funds increased investment in stocks.

The currency rose 0.1 percent last month as fund managers from overseas were net buyers of Taiwanese shares every day for the first month in at least five years.

Investors overseas last month purchased a net NT$180 billion (US$5.4 billion) of the country's equities.

"Stock inflows this month have been strengthening the Taiwan dollar," said Benson Liu, a currency trader at International Bank of Taipei (台北國際商銀).

"That will continue to help the currency," Liu said.

The NT dollar had risen to NT$33.516 against its US counterpart as of yesterday, and may strengthen to NT$33.45 by the end of this week, Liu said.

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