Tue, Aug 07, 2007 - Page 11 News List

US mortgage market woes hurt local exporters' shares

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Stocks dropped yesterday. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) paced declines among exporters on concern losses in the US mortgage market may slow the world's biggest economy, eroding demand for overseas goods.

"Investors must keep an eye on the mortgage problems, because that can derail US consumer demand for Asian exports," said Vickie Hsieh, who helps oversees US$1.4 billion at President Investment Trust Corp in Taipei.

"Taiwan's electronics exporters will suffer because they depend on US customers," she said.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控), the nation's largest property insurer, dropped. Former chief investment officer Daniel Chiang (蔣國樑)was detained by prosecutors as part of an insider trading investigation, a court spokesman said.

The TAIEX fell 116.09, or 1.3 percent, to close at 8,941.73 in Taipei. About three stocks declined for every one that gained. Futures due this month dropped 1.4 percent to 8,860.

TSMC, which makes about three-quarters of its sales from US buyers, dropped NT$1.30, or 2 percent, to NT$62.60.

Mediatek In (聯發科), the world's largest supplier of chips for DVD players, slipped NT$25, or 4.2 percent, to NT$575. AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest LCD maker, declined NT$1.90, or 3.5 percent, to NT$53.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index had its biggest three-week loss since 2003. Standard & Poor's cut the credit outlook of Bear Stearns Co, the manager of two hedge funds that collapsed last month.

The government said US employers added fewer jobs last month and a private report showed growth in the service industries slowed. The US is Taiwan's second-largest export market.

Fubon Financial fell NT$0.65, or 2.2 percent, to NT$28.55. The Taiwan High Court rejected a district court ruling to release Chiang on bail and the Taipei District Court made a new decision to detain Chiang again late on Friday.

Chiang denied any wrongdoing, the high court said in a statement on Friday.

Ta Chong Bank Ltd (大眾銀行). declined NT$0.15, or 1.4 percent, to NT$10.85. The Financial Supervisory Commission is investigating the bank's lending and savings operations, the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported, citing the lender's spokesman James Chiou (邱正光).

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