Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - Page 11 News List

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Share prices little changed

Taiwanese shares were little changed yesterday despite expectations of an interest rate cut by the central bank amid more bad news for the economy, dealers said.

The weighted index fell 3.30 points to 4,655.57 on an expanded turnover of NT$95.9 billion (US$2.88 billion).

Losers outnumbered gainers 785 to 699, while 255 stocks were unchanged.

The market wobbled within a range of some 70 points as analysts predicted the central bank, whose board was to meet later in the day, would slash the key rate by 50 basis points to spur the economy.

“But the news has already been reflected in the persistent rally this week,” said Alex Huang (黃國偉) of Mega International Investment Services (兆豐國際投顧).

Electronics shares outperformed the traditional industry and financial stocks which had separately led the rally, analysts said.

Huang said there was not much room before the market caps at around 4,800 to 4,900.

“After all, this is just a rebound and various data showed the economy is turning for the worse before bottoming off,” he said.

Lenovo may bid in Brazil

Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) said yesterday it is discussing possible acquisitions but the Chinese personal computer maker refused to confirm reports it is bidding for Brazil’s biggest PC manufacturer.

In a statement issued through the Hong Kong stock exchange, Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing (楊元慶) said the company “has certain preliminary discussions with independent third parties regarding potential investment opportunities.”

Yang said that “no negotiation has been carried out” and did not identify possible acquisition targets.

An acquisition in Brazil would help to advance Lenovo’s strategy of expanding in faster-growing emerging markets.

Sharp may cut LCD production

Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp said yesterday it may cut production of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels as global demand falters for personal computers and mobile phones.

The comments came after a report yesterday in the Nikkei Shimbun, Japan’s top business daily, that Sharp will shut down production at two small domestic plants and cut 300 contract workers.

The report was not based on an announcement by the company.

“We are now considering adjustments in our production of LCD panels, but nothing has been decided,” Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said.

The Nikkei said Sharp will close one production line each at its plant in Mie and another factory in Nara, both of which are located in western Japan. They began operations in the early 1990s, and currently make low-definition liquid-crystal-display panels.

Sharp decided to shut down the lines because of a prolonged slump in global demand for personal computers and mobile phone handsets, the paper said.

NT gains ground on greenback

The New Taiwan dollar gained ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, rising NT$0.140 to close at NT$33.309.

The currency advanced to the highest level in more than a week as stock exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of local shares each day this week.

“There’s been capital inflows in the stock market,” supporting the local currency DBS Bank Ltd said.

The currency, which has weakened 2.6 percent this year, may rise to NT$32.7 by June, DBS’s forecast said.

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