Wed, Nov 07, 2007 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX falls on US subprime fears

BLOOMBERG AND AFP , TAIPEI

Taiwan share prices fell for the fifth time in six days yesterday amid continuing worries over the fallout from the US subprime mortgage sector, with Wall Street's weaker finish contributing to the caution, dealers said.

"Subprime fallout remains an overhanging issue for investors, and exporters are vulnerable to falling US demand," said Sam Hsieh (謝良武), who helps oversee US$2.7 billion at Fu-Hwa Investment Trust Co (復華投信).

The weighted index closed down 15.80 points, or 0.17 percent, at 9,292.80, off a low of 9,278.01 and a high of 9,368.46. Turnover was NT$151.43 billion (US$4.67 billion).

However, investors stopped short of taking a more aggressive stance over uncertainty about whether the government will act on a proposal by Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to ease regulations governing China-bound investments, they said.

Meanwhile, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) paced declines among exporters on concern losses from US subprime mortgages may curb consumer spending in the world's largest economy.

Hon Hai, Taiwan's biggest electronics company, fell NT$5, or 2.1 percent, to NT$230.

Mediatek Inc (聯發科), the world's largest supplier of chips for DVD players, dropped NT$30, or 5.4 percent, to NT$522.

Largan Precision Co (大立光電) paced gains among mobile handset component suppliers after Google Inc. said it plans to launch a mobile-phone operating system next year.

Largan Precision, a maker of optical lenses and shutters for mobile phones, jumped NT$26.50, or 6.9 percent, to NT$409.50, the biggest gain since Oct. 2.

Wintek Corp (勝華科技), a maker of LCD panels used in handheld devices, rose NT$2, or 4.2 percent, to NT$50.2.

Meanwhile, Google, owner of the world's most popular Internet search engine, said yesterday it will work with companies including Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile USA Inc on a mobile-phone operating system, code-named "Android."

High Tech Computer Corp (宏達電) will make "at least" one model of the mobile phone in the second half of next year, chief executive officer Peter Chou (周永明) said yesterday.

High Tech, the world's biggest maker by volume of handsets based on Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system, fell NT$8, or 1.3 percent, to NT$622 after rising as much as 1.6 percent.

High Tech was sued by Boothwyn, Pennsylvania-based Replevix on claims it infringed a patent for mobile computer programs. Replevix filed its complaint in federal court in Philadelphia.

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