Tue, Aug 15, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Lebanese ceasefire offsets concerns to bolster share prices

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.62 percent higher yesterday led by technology stocks, with the Middle East ceasefire offsetting concerns over Wall Street's declines on Friday, dealers said.

Tech stocks extended gains, helping the index to stay in positive territory as the sector's prospects are expected to improve, they said.

The weighted index closed up 40.80 points at 6,611.90, having moved in a range of 6,587.36 and 6,634.73 points, on turnover of NT$68.64 billion (US$2.10 billion).

Dealers said the UN-backed ceasefire, ending a month of fighting between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, has eased concerns about geopolitical risks in that region.

"The latest [ceasefire] move in the Middle East received a positive response from the stock market here, with investors hoping oil prices will stabilize," said Frank Lin, senior vice president at Fubon Securities (富邦證券). "There are also continuing expectations that foreign capital will return to the pan-Asian markets following the US Fed's recent decision to leave interest rates unchanged."

He said interest in stocks with good valuations also contributed to the broader market's gains yesterday, allowing the bourse to regain ground after its correction a while ago.

Companies which are expected to perform well in the current quarter gained on the back of increased liquidity as well as technical factors, Lin noted.

United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) was steady at NT$18.40, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose NT$0.20 to NT$57.60.

ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技) lost NT$0.10 to NT$13, while MediaTek Inc (聯發科技) rose NT$1 to NT$285.50.

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