TAIEX falls below 7,100
The TAIEX closed lower yesterday, falling below the 7,100-point mark, amid lingering concerns over the debt problems in Europe and cautious sentiment ahead of Saturday’s elections, dealers said.
The government’s National Stabilization Fund was said to have continued its intervention to prevent the broader market from suffering more losses, they added.
The TAIEX fell 27.47 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,093.04, after moving between 7,050.25 and 7,103.09 on turnover of NT$70.39 billion (US$2.33 billion).
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Stock Exchange announced that the local bourse would be closed from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29 for the Lunar New Year holiday.
AUO price-fixing trial opens
A trial over alleged price-fixing by Taiwan-based flat panel maker AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電) was scheduled to open in the US District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday.
AU Optronics said in a statement released in Taipei that it would continue to fight the charges because “it is the right thing to do, as it hopes that the real facts can be presented through the trial.”
AU Optronics has repeatedly denied any involvement in price-fixing and has vowed not to plead guilty.
Three of its executives — Chen Hsuan-bin (陳炫彬), Chen Lai-juh (陳來助) and Hsiung Hui (熊暉) — are allowed to move freely in northern California, but cannot leave the US without permission from the US Pretrial Services Agency because prosecutors have deemed them a flight risk.
Formosa imports more oil
Taiwan bought more oil last month as Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) increased purchases.
Shipments climbed 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 24.9 million barrels last month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. Last month’s oil bill increased 38 percent to US$2.79 billion, the ministry said in a statement.
Formosa Petrochemical procured additional crude and naphtha cargoes in case supplies from Iran are cut amid sanctions against the country and its threat to shut a Middle East oil transit route, company president Tsao Mihn (曹明) said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Taiwan imported 733,934 tonnes of liquefied natural gas last month for US$536 million, according to data from the -Directorate-General of Customs. The amount was 15 percent lower than the 859,559 tonnes imported a year earlier, according to official data.
Asustek revenues drop 18%
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) reported a double-digit decrease in revenue last month as the consumer electronics market faces a traditionally slow season.
The Taiwanese PC maker yesterday posted standalone revenue of NT$24.5 billion (US$810.9 million) for last month, a drop of 18 percent from the NT$29.9 billion recorded in November. The figure represented an increase of 12 percent year-on-year from NT$22 billion in the same month of 2010.
In the fourth quarter of last year the company’s total revenue reached NT$85.7 billion, down 11 percent from NT$96.3 billion in the previous quarter.
Asustek chief financial officer David Chang (張偉明) said the double-digit decline occurred because the market had entered a slow season, which is expected to last through the first quarter this year.
NT dollar rises slightly
The New Taiwan dollar rose against the US dollar yesterday, adding NT$0.04 to close at NT$30.205.
Turnover totaled US$543 million during the trading session.