Tue, May 09, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Local currency gains boost TAEIX to five year high


Shares rose for the sixth straight session yesterday to their highest in five-and-a-half years as companies that own large amounts of real estate gained on the strength of the local currency.

The TAIEX advanced 103.61 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,474.05, its highest closing level since Sept. 6, 2000.

The New Taiwan dollar rose, pushing the US dollar down to NT$31.38 from Friday's NT$31.646, on a weak US dollar globally and inflows of foreign funds.

"The NT dollar's rise was clearly a big boost to asset-related stocks," said Derek Lam, a senior trader at Daiwa Securities SMBC Cathay (大和國泰證券).

Life insurers and companies such as Tatung Co (大同) have benefited from a stronger New Taiwan dollar, as that helps increase the value of the real estate they own.

Tatung, a home appliances maker, rose 6.8 percent to NT$11. Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控), the owner of Shinkong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽), was up 1.7 percent at NT$38.95.

Traders said they expect the index to face strong psychological resistance around the 7,500-point mark.

Memory chipmakers rose after the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, will increase global demand for larger-capacity memory chips.

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) rose 4.6 percent to NT$23.80 and Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) gained 3.9 percent to NT$21.40.

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦) advanced 1.4 percent to NT$36, while Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) rose 1.8 percent to NT$58.20.

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