Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Stocks close down as investors cash in on export fears


Share prices closed 0.52 percent lower yesterday after early gains on Wall Street's overnight rally soon gave way to profit-taking on concerns the recent strength in the local currency could undercut exports, dealers said.

Heavy losses in Tokyo may also have dampened sentiment, especially as a rise in the yen and its negative impact on exporter earnings was cited among the reasons there for the downturn.

The weighted index shed 34.99 points at 6,707.40, off a high of 6,751.56 and a low of 6,678.84, on turnover of NT$114.66 billion (US$3.59 billion).

Decliners led gainers 615 to 445, with 163 stocks unchanged.

A total of 24 stocks closed limit-up; 13 were limit-down.

While the local currency lost some ground, concerns about the impact of currency volatility on exporters still weighed on sentiment, dealers said.

The New Taiwan dollar slipped to 32.017 against the US dollar, compared with the previous close of 31.952.

"The market had previously welcomed the [New] Taiwan dollar's appreciation due to the possible benefits from foreign capital inflows," said Alex Huang, an assistant vice president at Barits International Securities (倍利國際證券). "But there are now mounting worries that a strong currency may spark forex losses and hurt exporters' competitiveness."

Heavyweight stocks were among the hardest hit due to profit-taking and the currency concerns, he said.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manu-facturing Co (台積電) lost NT$1.40 to NT$66.70. AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) also fell by NT$1.00 to NT$48.00, while Chi Mei Opto-electronics Corp (奇美電子) slid NT$0.10 to NT$45.50.

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