Shares rise 2.33 percent
Taiwanese shares closed up 2.33 percent yesterday as institutional investors started to rebuild their positions for the new year after a Wall Street rally, dealers said.
The weighted index rose 107.09 points to 4,698.31, off a low of 4,687.57 and a high of 4,778.52, on turnover of NT$66.90 billion (US$2.03 billion).
The market opened 2.92 percent higher as investors took cues from the latest Wall Street rally and the momentum extended on short-covering by institutional investors after a recent sell-off, dealers said.
However, profit taking emerged with the index moving closer to the key 4,800 point technical resistance to compromise some early gains, they said.
“Following a dismal year, many institutional investors have turned empty-handed or almost empty-handed. It was time for them to buy and the Wall Street gains ignited the buying,” Concord Securities (康和證券) analyst Allen Lin said.
Foxconn shares performing
Foxconn International Holdings Ltd (富士康) shares rose to the highest level in more than three months in Hong Kong trading after reports that parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) will sell Apple Inc products in China.
Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract maker of mobile phones, climbed 25 percent to HK$3.80 (US$0.49) in extended trading, the highest since Oct. 3, on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The shares earlier rose as much as 27 percent. Hon Hai added 6.9 percent, its daily limit, to end trading at NT$68.60 in Taipei.
Hon Hai was named sole distributor for Apple products in China and plans to start selling consumer electronics there this year, said a Jan. 1 Commercial Times report, quoting chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘).
Hon Hai, the maker of Apple’s iPod, said the report was “an invention of the media” in a statement to the Taipei stock exchange today.
Electricity consumption drops
Taiwan’s annual electricity consumption dropped for the first time last year as a global recession reduced the island’s exports and slowed factory output.
Power consumption fell 0.8 percent from 2007, the first yearly decline on record, Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元), spokeswoman for state-run Taiwan Power Co (台電), said by telephone in Taipei yesterday.
Electricity sales of Taiwan Power, the nation’s biggest generator and only electricity retailer, dropped as global demand for the island’s semiconductors and consumer electronics slumped, reducing power use by manufacturers.
Forex rises US$11.02 billion
Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US$291.71 billion last month to be the world’s fourth largest, representing an increase of US$11.02 billion from the previous month, the central bank said yesterday.
The monetary agency attributed the increase in a statement to a stronger euro, yen and other major currencies in its possession.
Returns from foreign exchange reserve management skills also contributed to the increase, the central bank added.
Vehicle tax cuts proposed
The legislature’s finance committee yesterday approved the first reading of a bill proposed by the finance ministry to offer a commodity tax cut of NT$30,000 for new purchases of cars below 2,000cc by the end of next year.
The committee further approved a commodity tax cut of NT$3,000 for each new motorcycle purchase at the same time.
The tax cut, pending final legislative approval, is expected to cost the government NT$9 billion per year, the finance ministry said yesterday.