Wed, Nov 15, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Investor sentiment recovers as interest hike fears diminish

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

As concerns over interest rate hikes in the international arena have temporarily eased, domestic investor sentiment this month bounced back from the previous low level, a survey released by JF Asset Management Taiwan said yesterday.

The survey came as the benchmark TAIEX climbed 67.98 points, or 0.95 percent, to 7,204.04 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, reaching its highest level since May 12. Turnover was NT$109.71 billion (US$3.34 billion ), according to stock exchange statistics.

This month, the JF Asset's confidence index climbed to 99.5 points, up from 88.6 recorded in September, the lowest level in more than two years, the bimonthly survey showed.

An index figure of less than 100 points indicates respondents are pessimistic, while a score over 100 indicates optimism.

The six sub-indices used in the JF Asset survey -- the nation's stock market, the domestic economy, Taiwan's political environment and cross-strait relations, the nation's investment environment, the international economy and the likelihood of profit-making in investment portfolios during the next six months -- all showed increases from the previous report.

Respondents continued to express optimism about the global economy, which scored 130.6, the highest score since the survey started in July 2004.

Despite the upswing, consumers are still worried about inflationary risk as 74.7 percent said commodity prices would rise in the next six months and 49.2 percent anticipated housing prices would continue to go up in the near future, the report said.

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