Sun, Nov 05, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Taipei leads pack as Asian exchanges close higher

`ROTATIONAL INTEREST' Positive sales reports from Taiwanese chipmakers and electronics component suppliers offset the effect of Wall Street's weak performance

AFP , HONG KONG

Asian stocks shrugged off a weak performance by Wall Street and closed mostly higher on Friday with investors focusing on domestic issues as opposed to the state of the US economy.

Taipei was among the best performers on the day with a 1.18 percent gain after local companies reported improved sales figures, while Hong Kong, Sydney, Mumbai and Jakarta closed at record highs.

Investors were also left without an important regional lead, with Tokyo closed for a public holiday. Improved corporate earnings, local interest rates and oil prices stabilising at lower levels provided some leads.

Dealers also noted there was an inflow of capital from outside the region.

Only Singapore bucked the trend with a 0.32 percent fall, however, the correction was described as healthy given that its benchmark had also been trading at record levels.

TAIPEI

Share prices closed 1.18 percent higher, with Wall Street's overnight declines offset by solid sales figures for last month reported by some local firms and on expectations of foreign capital inflows amid a strengthening Taiwan dollar.

Dealers said asset-backed stocks received a boost from a media report that a Hong Kong investor had bought four sites in northern Taiwan for around NT$400 million (US$12.12 million).

The weighted index closed up 83.51 points at 7,161.61 on turnover of NT$112.68 billion.

"We witnessed rotational interest today, with stocks responding positively to individual leads," said Stanley Hsu, a manager with First Taisec Securities (一銀證券).

"Dynamic random access memory chipmakers and some electronics components suppliers received a warm response [from investors] following their strong October sales," he said.

Construction and companies with real estate exposure got a boost on hopes for property developments, following the media report about the Hong Kong investor's interest in Taiwanese property.

In addition, the financial sector was bolstered by renewed reports of the prospects for mergers.

Hsu said that corporate sales data for last month and political developments were likely to be variables affecting the stockmarket here next week.

SEOUL

Share prices closed flat, with many investors sidelined after weakness on Wall Street overnight and ahead of key US employment data due later in the day.

Dealers said there was some support but the upside was capped as foreign investors continued to reduce their positions in major IT stocks, with all eyes now on the US economy after a series of weaker-than-expected data.

The concern is that if the US economy falters, Asian exporters could be badly hit with no other region able to take up the slack from their largest market.

The KOSPI index inched up 0.15 points at 1,383.88.

HONG KONG

Share prices closed 0.19 percent higher as gains in index heavyweight China Mobile and property stocks took the market into fresh record territory after a see-saw day.

China Mobile extended gains on liquidity-driven buying while property stocks played catch-up after lagging the market's recent record-breaking rally.

The Hang Seng Index was up 34.91 points at 18,749.69.

"The index was initially hesitant in making further headway at the current high levels but the retreat was soon overcome by renewed buying," said Marco Mak, research head at Tai Fook Securities.

SHANGHAI

Share prices closed 0.81 percent higher on sustained fund inflows, with the banks and property developers back in favor after profit-taking.

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