Sat, Feb 14, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Business Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Electronics sector lifts TAIEX

Taiwanese shares closed up 2.82 percent yesterday as the bellwether electronics sector led a technical rebound, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 126.08 points to 4,592.50, off a low of 4,504.71 and a high of 4,599.61, on turnover of NT$74.56 billion (US$2.19 billion).

Gainers led losers by 1,449 to 237, with 118 stocks unchanged.

The market opened up 0.86 percent on a strong showing by the high-tech sector and the momentum extended until the end of the session, with buying spreading to almost all other sectors, dealers said.

For the week, the weighted index rose 119.25 points or 2.67 percent after a 5.26 percent increase from a week earlier. Average daily turnover stood at US$73.6 billion, compared with US$59.76 billion the previous week.

Fuel prices to rise

Domestic gasoline and diesel prices will increase by NT$0.4 and NT$0.5 per liter respectively to reflect world crude prices, CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) announced yesterday.

After the adjustment, which takes effect today, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline will be NT$25, 95-octane unleaded gasoline will cost NT$23.5 and 92-octane unleaded gasoline will cost NT$22.8. Meanwhile, diesel will cost NT$20 per liter.

The state-owned oil refinery adjusts its energy prices every Friday afternoon, with the new prices effective the following day. To date, the unprofitable CPC is still absorbing the rise in the international market at the request of government.

CPC assigns its oil prices by using energy information provider Platt’s reports on average petroleum prices from Dubai and Brent with a 70 percent and 30 percent allocation, the company said.

Rival Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) announced it would match CPC’s price hikes, effective today.

‘Difficult’ year for Hong Kong

Hong Kong banks face a difficult year as lending slows and demand for investment products weaken as the economy moves deeper into its first recession since 2003, the city’s central bank said.

“[The year’s] operating environment will inevitably be difficult,” Y.K. Choi (蔡耀君), deputy chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, told reporters at a briefing yesterday. “Some banks may see red.”

Japan’s spending falls

Japanese household spending fell 1.9 percent last year from a year before to ¥296,932 (US$3,290) per month, the government said yesterday.

Spending for food dropped 1.9 percent from the previous year while utility expenditure declined 1.3 percent last year, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

The average monthly income of salaried households dipped 0.6 percent last year to ¥534,235 from a year before.

The yearly average of monthly spending by salaried households also dropped 1.1 percent to ¥324,929.

NT dollar continues decline

The New Taiwan dollar continued losing ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.025 to close at NT$34.05.

The NT dollar dropped this week on speculation exports will extend last month’s slump, as US President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan may fail to revive demand.

“Our outlook for the Taiwan dollar is still weak,” said Thio Chin Loo, senior currency strategist at BNP Paribas in Singapore.

Regarding the US stimulus plan, she said: “The situation is still gloomy, which supports the dollar against Taiwan.”

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