Sat, May 27, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Stock index favors bricks and mortar, edges up 18 points

AP AND AFP , TAIPEI

Shares rose slightly yesterday as investors were encouraged by gains overnight on Wall Street.

Companies with substantial property holdings extended defensive gains while some large-cap electronic stocks lost ground on continuing uncertainties about the industry outlook, dealers said.

The TAIEX rose 17.86 points, or 0.26 percent, to 6,879.51. Turn-over was NT$126.72 billion (US$3.95 billion). For the week, the index was down 194.64 points or 2.75 percent.

The construction sector, the best-performing sector on the main board, rose 3.2 percent overall yesterday.

"Local investors have been avoiding technology plays recently, and turned to construction stocks," said Bill Huang, a trader at KGI Securities Co (中信證券). The second quarter is usually a slow period for technology firms.

Kindom Construction Corp (冠德) surged by the 7 percent daily limit to NT$10.8, and Huaku Construction Corp (華固) rose 5.3 percent to NT$69.4.

However, technology companies mostly fell. AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest flat-panel maker by revenue, lost 2.1 percent at NT$46.5, and rival Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) fell 3.3 percent to NT$37.7.

Traders said flat-panel makers were facing inventory buildups and pressure for lower prices in the second and third quarters.

LCD-component maker Wellypower Optronics (威力盟) fell by the daily limit of 7 percent to NT$172.5, and Radiant Opto-Electronics (瑞儀光電) lost 4.4 percent to NT$61.6.

CTCI Corp (中鼎) closed at NT$18.55 after Morgan Stanley Private Equity acquired a 19.9 percent stake in the company.

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