Thu, Jan 01, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Investor index improves slightly on bourse rebound

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese investor sentiment has experienced a minor uptick with the rebound on the local bourse, though the index remains in negative territory, a poll released yesterday showed.

The bimonthly survey, jointly conducted by the Chinese-language weekly Business Today (今周刊) and Shih Hsin University, showed the investor sentiment index stood at minus 168.15 points this month, up 8.38 points from the historic low of minus 176.53 in October.

Kuo Nai-fong (郭迺鋒), a finance professor at Shih Hsin University, attributed the slight upturn to the rallies in tech-sector stocks on the TAIEX, which picked up 2.18 points to close at 4,591.22 on turnover of NT$53.05 billion (US$1.614 billion) yesterday.

Altogether, the weighted index shed 3,915 points, or 46 percent, this year from 8,506.28 points at the end of last year, with share value contracting NT$9.8 trillion to NT$11.7 trillion.

Kuo said the stock market appeared to have hit a short-term bottom this fall. The index plummeted to a seven-year low of 3,955 points in October, but returned to the 4,500-point level this month, Kuo said, granting investors a period of respite from the economic downturn.

“The temporary recovery accounts for the rising investor confidence, although they remain bearish about the economic outlook,” Kuo said.

Male investors appeared slightly more upbeat than their female counterparts, the survey found.

However, the index on economic outlook for the next six months sank to minus 128.18 points from 120.88 points two months ago, the poll indicated.

Investors grew more pessimistic about the job market, with the employment index slipping to minus 157.82 points this month, from minus 138.86 points in October.

The findings fell in line with the official jobless rate, which rose to a five-year high of 4.64 percent last month and is expected to climb after the Lunar New Year holidays at the end of the month.

The survey polled 1,093 stock investors aged 18 or older by telephone between Dec. 10 and Dec. 20. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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