■ TAIEX posts modest gain
Shares closed 0.49 percent higher yesterday, but profit-taking capped earlier gains driven by technology stock gains on Wall Street overnight, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed up 35.92 points at 7,384.69, on expanded turnover of NT$123.43 billion (US$3.76 billion).
Risers led decliners 695 to 478, with 192 stocks unchanged.
■ Foundation blasts Land Bank
The Consumers' Foundation (消基會) yesterday criticized the Lank Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) for violating regulations and depriving consumers of their rights.
Consumers complained that when they applied for the state-run bank's combo cards, which offer multiple functions such as cash withdrawal and credit and cash advances, they were required to give up a five-day period designed for applicants to peruse the contract.
As the contract-examining requirement is a compulsory regulation, the bank's employees even demanded that applicants fill in an earlier date on the application form to bypass the law.
Foundation chairman Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said that the bank had violated Article 11-1 of the Consumer Protection Law (消費者保護法) and the foundation would demand that the bank amend its procedure as soon as possible.
■ Hon Hai fined for defamation
The Fair Trade Commission yesterday fined Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) NT$1.56 million (US$47,575) for defaming a smaller rival on a Web site.
The commission said in a press statement that the nation's largest electronics company by sales improperly accused Lotes Co (嘉澤端子) of piracy, stealing Hon Hai's patents and malicious competition on the Market Observation Post System established by Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp between June 24 and Nov. 7 last year.
As Hon Hai's lawsuit against Lotes have not yet been finalized, its improper accusations have violated Article 24 of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法), the commission said.
■ China Steel raises prices
China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest steelmaker, will raise domestic steel prices by an average of 0.6 percent in the first quarter, the smallest quarterly rise in a year.
The prices of bars and wire rods will increase by NT$300 (US$9) per tonne and those of electrical sheets by NT$1,000 from Jan. 1, China Steel said in a statement yesterday. The prices of five other products, including cold-rolled steel, used to make automobiles and household appliances, will remain unchanged.
The average increase is the smallest since the first quarter this year, when the Taiwanese company cut charges for six products.
■ Average monthly pay up
Average monthly compensation in the industrial and service sectors reached NT$36,052 (US$1,103) in the first three quarters of the year, up 1.27 percent over the same period last year, according to tallies released on Wednesday by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).
The figure represents the highest level for the same period over the past five years, DGBAS officials said.
After taking into consideration a 0.83 percent rise in the consumer price index during the period, real regular monthly earnings per employee in the two sectors averaged NT$34,647, up 0.43 percent year-on-year, the officials said.
■ NT dollar edges up
The New Taiwan dollar stayed firm against its US counterpart yesterday amid a rising yen and foreign fund inflows. It rose NT$0.022 to close at NT$32.790 on the Taipei Forex Inc on turnover of US$900 million.