Sat, Apr 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Investors pocket profits in wake of AUO-driven rally

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.14 percent lower yesterday after an early rally driven by results from AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) gave way to late profit-taking, dealers said.

They said remarks on Taiwan made by US President George W. Bush and his guest in Washington, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), contained no surprises, leaving investors to focus on purely local leads in heavy trading.

The TAIEX shed 9.69 points at 7,093.05, on turnover of NT$167.78 billion (US$5.19 billion). Decliners led gainers 520 to 353, with 119 stocks unchanged.

"Investors were eager to pocket profits following recent strength [in the market]," said Tom Tang (湯建源), president at Kai Yuan Securities Investment Consultant Co (開元投顧).

"While short-term profit-taking may not be ruled out, the market's medium-term outlook remains positive," Tang said.

He said the local bourse should be bolstered by the prospects for major international markets as well as positive domestic fundamentals and ample liquidity.

"The market's short-term consolidation will not affect its bright medium-term picture," Tang said.

AU Optronics closed flat at NT$54.20, off a high of NT$56.40, after it announced on Thursday a net profit of NT$6.65 billion for the first quarter, compared with NT$11.47 billion in the preceding quarter and a net loss of NT$2.13 billion in the first quarter of last year.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world's largest contract chipmaker by revenue, fell 0.9 percent to NT$69.3, while rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) rose 3.5 percent to NT$22.2.

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