Wed, May 28, 2008 - Page 11 News List

TAIEX gains on China optimism, bargain-hunting

AFP , TAIPEI

Share prices closed 0.81 percent higher yesterday as investors hunted for bargains after the key index lost nearly 600 points over the past five sessions, dealers said.

They noted fresh hopes for an improvement in cross-strait ties as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) prepares to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) today.

The weighted index closed up 70.56 points at 8,778.39, after moving in the range of 8,723.72 and 8,789.77 on turnover of NT$97.02 billion (US$3.2 billion).

Risers led decliners 1,293 to 1,053, with 339 stocks unchanged. A total of 26 stocks closed limit-up, while 14 were limit-down.

The tourism sector was up 5.2 percent, the cement sector gained 1.69 percent, steel was up 1.46 percent, electronics rose 0.87 percent and financial added 0.71 percent.

Foreign fund managers led the three major institutional investors with net selling of NT$1.4 billion in local stocks yesterday, after offloading a net NT$1.88 billion in local shares on Monday, stock exchange tallies showed.

Wang Chao-li (王兆立), an assistant vice president at Polaris Securities Co (寶來證券), said hopes for better economic ties with China sparked bargain-hunting.

“Recent developments have strengthened expectations of improvement in Taipei-Beijing relations and encouraged investors to hunt for bargains,” he said, adding that the tourism sector would be among major beneficiaries of policy deregulation.

Wang said high energy costs and inflation fears would continue to cast a shadow over the local bourse, limiting any rally spurred by cross-strait hopes.

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