TAIEX up a cautious 0.2 percent
Share prices closed 0.2 percent higher yesterday, steadying after a week of heavy losses as investors rotated into non-tech industrial and financial stocks, dealers said.
They said the market may have hit or is approaching the bottom, as investors appear to have done most of their selling, opening up the possibility of a rebound next month after the close of the first quarter.
The TAIEX added 12.02 points to close at 6,376.62, on turnover of NT$76.86 billion (US$2.35 billion). Gainers led decliners 448 to 436, with 182 stocks unchanged.
No delays, THSRC says
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵), contractor of the nation's first bullet train, yesterday said it would inaugurate its full-line service as scheduled at the end of October, a public relations official said.
THSRC made the remarks in response to a Japanese-language Yukanfuji report, which cited sources in Taiwan and Japan as saying that the high-speed rail will only run from Banciao (板橋) in Taipei County to Kaohsiung City by the end of October, rather than from the Taipei Railway Station to Kaohsiung due to delays in communication and electrical system installations around the stations.
The report also said that the Taipei-Banciao segment will not start operating until the eve of the next Lunar New Year.
THSRC said it had completed 93.49 percent of the project at the end of January and will deliver the whole project by October.
Money supply growth slows
Money supply growth slowed last month for the first time in three months due to a decrease in net capital inflows, weak growth in bank loans and Lunar New Year distortions, the Central Bank of China said.
M2, the broadest measure of the nation's money supply, rose 6.5 percent last month from a year ago after gaining 7.2 percent in January, the Bank said in a statement yesterday.
M1A, which tracks net currency in circulation plus checking accounts and passbook deposits, expanded 6.0 percent last month after increasing 9.9 percent in January, the Bank said.
M1B, which excludes time deposits and foreign-currency deposits included in M2, rose 5.6 percent last month, after expanding 8.4 percent the previous month.
China investments approved
The Investment Commission yesterday said it approved 13 China-bound investment plans worth US$333.01 million this week, including those by Asustek Com-puter Inc (華碩電腦) and AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電).
Asustek, a leading notebook computer and mobile communications manufacturer, was given the green light on Thursday to invest US$50 million to set up a wholly owned unit, North Tek (Shanghai) (恭碩科技), to manufacture cellphone related products, the commission said.
The commission also approved the application by flat-panel display maker AUO to invest US$50 million in Xiamen and US$30 million in Suzhou to manufacture backlight modules and other components for flat-panel display use.
In the first two months of this year, the commission approved a total of US$913 million in China investment applications, up 31.9 percent from a year earlier.
The commission said it also approved on Thursday five applications for inbound investments totaling US$830.27 million, pushing the combined authorized value so far this year to US$1.79 billion.
NT$ dollar falls further
The New Taiwan dollar continued to lose ground against the US dollar on the Taipei foreign exchange market yesterday, sliding NT$0.091 to close at NT$32.669.