Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Technology firms hardest hit by drop in benchmark index

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.57 percent lower yesterday, reversing early advances on follow-through buying amid ample liquidity and extended gains on Wall Street on Friday, dealers said.

The weighted index closed down 53.98 points at 9,417.32, off a high of 9,539.20 and a low of 9,403.73, on a turnover of NT$229.49 billion (US$7 billion).

Decliners led risers 844 to 613, with 139 stocks unchanged. A total of 74 stocks closed limit-up and 22 finished the session limit-down.

"Profit-taking picked up steam towards the close as investors became increasingly wary about the market's chances of staying above 9,500 points," said Alex Huang (黃國偉), assistant vice president of Mega International Investment Services (兆豐國際投顧).

Huang said this was an understandable point of view as the market was unable to push the index to levels not seen since April 2000.

Technology bellwethers were hardest hit, but select non-tech heavyweights benefited from a shift of rotational interest.

The electronics sector was lower by 1.79 percent, while the financial sector was up 0.36 percent, the food sector gained 2.97 percent and construction was up 0.90 percent.

Major market participants also succeeded in cashing out of technology large-caps while keeping up a positive note on non-techs and financials, thus preventing an even steeper decline in the benchmark index, Huang said.

Given the continued expectations of a market run-up ahead of next year's elections, any near-term correction is unlikely to push the index below 9,000 points, he said.

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