Sat, Feb 11, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Market heads south on concerns over TSMC's prospects

AP , TAIPEI

Taiwan's shares fell yesterday on caution about prospects for the world's leading contract chipmaker.

The weighted price index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange lost 35.21 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,594.92, ending the week little changed from last week's closing level of 6,594.6.

Traders said the main drag on the index was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chipmaker and the biggest company on the main board by market capitalization.

TSMC fell 0.6 percent to NT$62.60.

Traders said both the company's short-term prospects and the stock's overnight performance on Wall Street contributed to the fall.

"A weak performance overnight in TSMC's American depositary receipts negatively affected the local stock,'' said Derek Lam, a senior trader at Daiwa Securities SMBC-Cathay Co (大和國泰證券). TSMC's ADRs fell 0.8 percent on Thursday.

Expectations for a seasonal downturn in January and February also weighed on the stock, said Ta Ching Securities (大慶證券) head trader Daniel Liu.

In contrast, global No.2 contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp's (聯電) stock rose 0.6 percent to NT$18.30, after its ADRs rose 2.6 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent overnight, but the NASDAQ fell 0.5 percent and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index dropped 0.3 percent. Companies in Taiwan and the US maintain close contracting links.

Yesterday's trading saw 341 stocks rise, 704 decline and 149 close unchanged.

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