Sat, May 09, 2009 - Page 11 News List

[BUSINESS BRIEFS]

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Shares close higher

Taiwanese shares closed up 0.17 percent yesterday after a tug of war between profit-taking and bargain hunting following recent strong gains, dealers said.

The weighted index rose 11.00 points to 6,583.87 on turnover of NT$197.93 billion (US$5.98 billion).

The market opened lower as investors took cues from Wall Street’s weakness overnight, but with the index falling to 6,500 points, buying emerged to recoup the losses, dealers said.

A decline in daily turnover showed some investors had taken to the sidelines amid concerns over further profit-taking in the near term, they said.

Since the end of last month, the market has risen more than 17 percent on high hopes of closer business ties with China.

“Today’s volatility was widely expected after the strong showing,” Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting (元大投顧) analyst Calvin Chen (陳程坤) said.

“The market is expected to consolidate before another takeoff to stand well above 6,600 points,” Chen said.

Bargain hunters targeted select large cap electronic stocks on optimism over the industrial outlook, dealers said.

Tourism stocks attracted interest on more visits by Chinese tourists, dealers said, adding that the financial sector suffered greater selling.

“The sector has outperformed the broader market recently. I expect it will encounter further pressure in a consolidation mode over the next few sessions,” Chen said.

Cost of gas, diesel rises

Gasoline and diesel increased by NT$0.9 and NT$1.0 per liter respectively yesterday, state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and its private rival Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) announced.

After the adjustment, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$27.6. The price of 95-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$26.1 and 92-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$25.4 per liter. Diesel is NT$22.6 per liter.

Amtran gives back to executives

Amtran Technology Co (瑞軒科技), which supplies flat-panel televisions to the US TV vendor Vizio Inc, yesterday said it had restored some executives’ salary to the level three months ago and has paid compensation to them on the back of the industry’s recovery.

Some 42 senior executives in January proposed paycheck cuts of 10 percent as part of efforts to help the company save costs.

With demand rebounding, Amtran decided to restore the salaries to the previous levels from last month and provide compensation totaling the amount deducted in the January-March period, said Johnny Huang (黃世斌), an official at Amtran’s public relations division.

NT dollar climbing

The New Taiwan dollar rose for a third week as strengthening ties with China triggered a surge in demand for local stocks, which jumped by the most in six years.

The currency approached this year’s high as the TAIEX posted a weekly gain of 9.9 percent, its best performance since October 2002, as foreign investors bought a net NT$75.5 billion (US$2.3 billion) in local equities.

Taiwan would be one of the places “to benefit more directly through investment inflows and goodwill from [China],” said Nizam Idris, a currency strategist with UBS AG in Singapore. “But we should not lose sight of the fact that Taiwan is still heavily exposed to export demand, which is likely to remain weak for some time.”

The NT dollar rose 0.3 percent to NT$33.04 against the greenback on turnover of US$1.032 billion. The currency, which reached NT$32.833 on May 4, gained 0.6 percent this week.

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