Thu, Feb 16, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Profit-grab burdens bourse in spite of big TSMC dividend

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.22 percent lower yesterday as investors chose to lock in profits made on early gains following a strong Wall Street performance overnight, dealers said.

They said the key tech sector remained under pressure on concerns about seasonal first-quarter weakness and even a strong dividend payout from market leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was unable to help much.

The weighted index slipped 14.48 points at 6,598.49, off a high of 6,659.52 and a low of 6,592.94, on turnover of NT$104.65 billion (US$3.24 billion).

Yuanta Core Pacific Securities (元大京華證券) assistant vice president Oliver Fang said the market remains stuck in a range as investors wait for a decisive lead.

"Even TSMC's dividend plan for last year, which is not so bad, failed to give the stock a boost," he said.

Fang said the Taiwan dollar's recent weakness had a lot to do with foreign investors taking a more cautious approach.

TSMC closed down NT$1 at NT$61.30.

United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) was down NT$0.30 at NT$17.60 after it reported in-line fourth-quarter earnings and delivered lackluster first-quarter guidance.

BenQ Corp (明基) was down NT$0.90 at NT$33.10 despite a report that it has secured contracts for High-Speed Downlink Packet Access handsets from T-Mobile and Vodafone.

VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子), however, was limit-up NT$1.25 at NT$19.70, on a report that it may emerge as the nation's first cellphone chip supplier to Nokia.

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