Share prices slides
Share prices closed 1.44 percent lower yesterday after further losses on Wall Street and on concerns over rising oil prices, dealers said.
The TAIEX closed down 126.90 points at 8,707.83, the lowest closing level since 8,667.93 points registered on April 9. Turnover stood at NT$117.59 billion (US$3.86 billion).
Technology led the declines on worries about the potential impact of inflation on US consumer spending with the electronics sector down 1.70 percent.
Frank Lin (林玉田), senior vice president of Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券), said inflation worries outweighed hopes of policy deregulation toward China, noting that the government lift a freeze on energy prices last week, paving the way for a hike in gasoline prices next month.
Lin said inflation is also casting a shadow over the US economy and raising worries over consumer spending there.
“Local technology exporters were dampened by worries over demand from their major market given consumer spending uncertainties,” he said.
The US accounts for a major portion of Taiwanese technology firms’ export earnings. Lin said the tourism sector was dragged lower as “investors were eager to lock in profits” following recent surges driven by hopes of weekend cross-strait charter flights and hopes of more tourist arrivals from China.
Hsieh to lead delegation
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hsieh Fa-dah (謝發達) will attend a ministerial-level APEC meeting on Sunday and Monday in Arequipa, Peru, ministry officials said yesterday.
Hsieh will participate in the annual event on behalf of Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) and will take part in discussions on a variety of issues including global food trading and regional economic integration, the officials said.
Hsieh and his delegation are scheduled to leave for Peru today.
Hsieh will also donate computers and other equipment for the establishment of three APEC digital opportunity centers, the ministry said.
Taiwan proposed the establishment of such centers during the 2000 APEC leaders’ summit in Brunei to help bridge the digital divide among APEC members.
Yiin said yesterday that 42 gas stations were suspected of hoarding fuel ahead of a planned price hike on June 2.
He made the comment after inspecting several gas stations in Taipei County.
The 42 stations were found to have increased oil output by 20 percent, or 10,000 liter, this month compared with last month, Yiin said, although he didn’t say whether supply irregularities had been found.
Lo says age behind resignation
SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金) president Paul Lo (盧正昕) said he is retiring because of his age, not because of losses related to US subprime mortgages as one newspaper has claimed.
The Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Saturday that Lo would resign to take responsibility for the losses, without citing sources.
Sino Pac’s retirement age is 60, Lo said by telephone from Taipei yesterday.
Lo is 64.
Taipei-based SinoPac, the fourth-smallest financial-holding company in the country, booked an investment loss of NT$4.13 billion in the first quarter, the company said in a stock exchange filing on April 25.
NT dollar dips
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday weakened by NT$0.007 to trade at NT$30.507 against its US counterpart in Taipei on turnover of US$884 million.
Staff writer, with agencies