Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Stocks rise as investors predict higher panel prices


Share prices closed 1.19 percent higher yesterday led by TFT-LCD panel-makers as investors bet on improved panel prices amid the companies' efforts to cut oversupply, dealers said.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) attracted interest on expectations that they would give positive guidance after announcing their fourth-quarter to December results, the dealers said.

The index closed up 92.63 points at 7,875.75, off a low of 7,802.94, on turnover of NT$97.81 billion (US$2.97 billion).

Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co (日盛投顧) deputy manager Wilson Lien said buying interest was triggered "on signs that the market might have little downside to worry about."

He said some investors sought "to place their bets now" amid a view that selling related to the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays may have largely run its course.

TFT-LCD panel makers came into the spotlight probably on expectations that panel prices are heading for a sustainable recovery as the year unfolds, he said.

"Their earnings for the last quarter of 2006 and first quarter of 2007 would not be so exciting, but a turnaround should be reasonable in the months ahead," Lien said.

That must be why investors have started buying AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics, he said.

Chi Mei shares climbed 3.17 percent to NT$34.15. AU Optronics ?rose 3.92 percent to NT$47.7 on a report that it would supply TFT-LCD panels for Sony's 37-inch TV sets. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) was up NT$1.10 at NT$68.90, and United Microelectronic Corp (聯電) was up NT$0.10 at NT$20.60.

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