TAIEX gains on Wal-Mart news
Stocks gained 215.72, or 2.5 percent, to close at 8,942.93 yesterday as exporters such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海精密) rose after earnings at Wal-Mart Stores Inc boosted confidence in the outlook for the US economy.
Stocks also advanced after Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said his company doesn't plan any significant writedowns on mortgage-related assets, boosting optimism the US subprime crisis may be contained.
Only 48 of the 648 stocks traded on the TAIEX did not advance yesterday.
Hon Hai, the nation's largest electronics company, climbed NT$7, or 3.5 percent, to NT$210 (US$6.51). Hon Hai assembles iPods for Apple Inc. Mediatek Inc (聯發科), the world's largest supplier of chips for DVD players, added NT$26, or 5.2 percent, to NT$527.
Yahoo settles lawsuit
Yahoo Inc, reeling from a growing backlash over human rights and its China operations, settled a lawsuit that accused it of illegally helping the Chinese government jail and torture two journalists.
Neither side disclosed details on Tuesday other than to agree Yahoo would pay the attorneys fees of Shi Tao (師濤) and Wang Xiaoning (王小寧) and the family member who sued on their behalf. Yahoo also said it would "provide financial, humanitarian and legal support to these families."
The settlement has reopened debate over Internet companies cooperating with governments that deny freedom of speech and crack down on journalists.
HK stocks rise 3.68 percent
Hong Kong stocks rose sharply yesterday morning on lower oil prices and easing fears about the credit crisis in the US. An overnight rally on Wall Street also boosted investor confidence.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index closed the morning session up 1,023.63 points, or 3.68 percent, at 28,826.98.
Trade has been volatile over the past few weeks as investors react to news about a plan to allow mainland Chinese to invest directly in Hong Kong, new listings of mainland companies and concerns over the US economy.
China Mobile (中國移動通訊) led yesterday's gains on news it was in talks with Apple Inc about bringing the iPhone to China. It closed the morning session up 6.59 percent at HK$137.4.
Trading volume would be the key to whether the market is back to its bull run, said local analysts.
Premier calls for monitoring
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday instructed Vice Premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) to monitor fluctuations in the stock market and their impact on the country's economy, The recent subprime mortgage financial crisis in the US, continuous depreciation of the US dollar, soaring oil prices in the international market and the strengthening of China's economic controls were among the factors that are influencing global stock markets, Chang said.
The Taipei Weighted Stock Index slid 10.1 percent in a month, lower than a 13.6 percent decline in the Chinese Stock market and a 12.9 percent decline in the Hang Seng Index, while higher than a fall of 9.6 percent, 9.2 percent, and 6.4 percent respectively in Nikkei, Strait Times Index-Singapore, and South Korea-Stock Index, Chang said.
The premier called on the public to keep their confidence in Taipei stock, citing that the country's current economic fundamentals are fairly good.
NT dollar gains
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday gained slightly by NT$0.011 to close at NT$32.288 against the greenback on turnover of US$1.062 billion.