TAIEX rises on US rally
Taiwanese shares closed up 2.08 percent yesterday as buying was boosted by an overnight Wall Street rally, dealers said.
The weighted index rose 121.98 points to 5,997.17 on turnover of NT$173 billion (US$5.12 billion).
The market opened 2.29 percent higher amid optimism over global market prospects after investors witnessed Wall Street’s strong comeback to reverse early losses overnight, dealers said.
The uptrend continued until the end of the session. Technical pressure limited gains, with the index breaching the key 6,000 point mark in early morning trade, they said.
“Investors turned more upbeat about world market performance after witnessing Wall Street’s strong showing,” Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting (元大投顧) analyst Young Wang said.
“It seems that US markets have stabilized despite some disappointing economic data. Investors caught some glimpses of hope,” Wang said.
Financial heavyweights boosted the weighted index on hopes that Taiwan and China would sign a memorandum of understanding to set up a mechanism for increasing cross-strait banking exchanges, dealers said.
Infrastructure-related stocks were lifted by expectations that the government would continue to invest in public works to boost the domestic economy, he said.
Chien attends PRC conference
Former Control Yuan president Fredrick Chien (錢復), at the head of a 34-member delegation, arrived in Hainan, China, yesterday for an economic conference.
Chien will take part in the 2009 Boao Forum for Asia today through Sunday in his capacity as chairman of a charity foundation and senior adviser to the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation (兩岸共同市場基金會).
As the discussion of a financial memorandum of understanding is high on agenda of the next round of cross-strait talks later this month, Chien’s delegation includes several financial experts, including Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Schive Chi (薛琦), Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation chairman Chan Huo-sheng (詹火生) and Taiwan Financial Holding (台灣金控) chairwoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮).
Rice wine price set to drop
The legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday agreed to amend the Tobacco and Alcohol Tax Act (菸酒稅法) to cut the price of cooking rice wine.
Red-label rice wine, a commonly used cooking ingredient would cost NT$50, from the current NT$180, if the bill clears the legislature.
The Ministry of Finance welcomed the committee’s decision, saying it could help ease the financial burden on the public and stamp out counterfeit rice wine.
The ministry said sales of cooking rice wine dropped substantially after a price hike in 2003.
NT dollar retreats
The New Taiwan dollar yesterday wiped out gains after the nation’s top trade partner, China, reported the slowest pace of economic growth in a decade, bolstering the case for Taiwan’s central bank to temper currency gains and aid local exporters.
The currency slipped for a second day, extending this year’s losses to 2.8 percent, as a seven-month slump in exports dimmed the prospect of recovery from a recession.
“Even if we’re in a trough, there’s no recovery in sight,” said Dwyfor Evans, a Hong Kong-based strategist at State Street Global Markets. “So the last thing you’d want to do if you’re the central bank in Taiwan is to allow your currency to strengthen.”
The NT dollar weakened by NT$0.010 to close at NT$33.80 yesterday. Turnover was US$1.092 billion.