■ Profit-taking erodes gains
Share prices closed 0.49 percent higher yesterday but profit-taking eroded the early gains made on Wall Street's strong overnight rebound, dealers said.
Bellwether technology stocks, which had fallen hardest in the recent slide, led the market's advance but investors were reluctant to push prices too far, they said.
The TAIEX was up 31.36 points at 6,390.99, off a high of 6,435.83, on turnover of NT$71.49 billion (US$2.18 billion). Risers outnumbered decliners 670 to 267, with 162 stocks unchanged.
■ FSC to set up London office
Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Vice Chairwoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) said the commission plans to set up a representative office in London by the end of the year.
Two FSC staff members traveled to London last week to arrange for the opening of a liaison office, including looking for a suitable location and arrange interior decorations, she said.
If all goes well, the new office will be formally inaugurated in late October or November, becoming the FSC's second overseas office. The FSC opened an office in New York last October.
■ LG.Philips' charge denied
Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管), the nation's No. 3 maker of flat panels, yesterday rejected a patent-infringement charge from industry leader LG.Philips LCD Co, saying the South Korean firm was trying again to manipulate the ruling for a patent lawsuit by spreading false information.
Chunghwa Picture said in a statement that the board of arbitration at a New York Court ruled last month that it had legally obtained the "Side-mount" patent right from DEC, a US company. LG.Philips had earlier claimed it possessed the patent.
Chunghwa Picture said South Korean firm's actions were aimed at influencing the outcome of a lawsuit in a Delaware court.
■ CIER doubts budget plan
The Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER, 中經院), a non-profit think tank, expressed doubts yesterday about whether the government could attain its goal of a balanced national budget by 2010.
The institute noted that although government-sector spending increased only 0.28 percent this year and investment in state-owned enterprises also decreased by 1.82 percent, government debt has been expanding.
As of the end of last year, debts payable by all levels of government accounted for 37.5 percent of the country's GDP, with the ratio reaching 46.2 percent if short-term debts of less than one year, CIER said.
The institute said the amount of government debt would be even larger if the deficits of the Labor Insurance and National Health Insurance programs were taken into consideration.
■ Science park investment rises
Investment in the Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) has reached NT$1.5 trillion (US$46.15 billion) over the past three years, a park official said yesterday.
Yang Wen-ke (楊文科), director of the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration, made the remarks as the park celebrated its third anniversary. He said the park had a business turnover of NT$60 billion last year, a figure expected to reach NT$120 billion this year.
The park has created 10,000 jobs so far, and the cluster effects on the optoelectronic and semiconductor industries have been obvious in the park, Yang said.
■ NT dollar rises
The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.055 to close at NT$32.80 on the Taipei foreign exchange market. Turnover was US$487 million.
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The US stock market has been on a tear, yet the country’s economy is in the dumps. So why do so many people believe — undoubtedly incorrectly — that the stock market has decoupled from reality? The economy many people experience, while bleak, is local, personal and, for the most part, either not publicly traded or plays only a small part in the stock market’s moves. To explain why these personal experiences have so little effect on equity markets, we must look more closely at the market role of the weakest industry sectors. The surprising conclusion: The most visible and economically vulnerable