N Korea jitters hurt TAIEX
The TAIEX yesterday fell 1.37 percent as investors were scared off by a South Korean report quoting an unidentified intelligence source as saying North Korea was “clandestinely preparing a nuclear test.”
The broader market was also dragged down by lingering concerns that the government might soon subject investors with large trading volumes to capital gains taxes on stock investments.
The TAIEX finished down 105.39 points at 7,600.87 on anemic turnover of NT$59.82 billion (US$2.03 billion).
A total of 906 stocks closed up and 3,095 finished down, while 236 remained unchanged.
All of the market’s eight major stock categories closed down, with the machinery and electronics sector the biggest loser, falling 1.5 percent.
CDIC inks MOU with Thailand
Taiwan is expected to forge closer relations and partnerships with Thailand, based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed in Taipei yesterday, representatives of both sides said.
The memorandum will serve as the basis for financial cooperation, information exchanges and experience sharing between the two sides, with the aim of strengthening the stability of both countries’ economies, Central Deposit Insurance Corp (CDIC, 中央存保) chairman David Sun (孫全玉) said.
Singha Nikornpun, president of Thailand’s Deposit Protection Agency (DPA), signed on behalf of the Thai side, while CDIC president Howard Wang (王南華) signed for the corporation.
The DPA is the eighth international organization with which the CDIC has signed such a memorandum, most of which are in Asia.
The CDIC has been working on finding more European -countries with which to collaborate, officials said.
Oil imports increased
Taiwan, which imports more than 99 percent of its oil, increased purchases last month to support processing at Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化).
Shipments climbed to 27.4 million barrels last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The nation’s payments for oil jumped 27 percent to US$3.32 billion last month, the ministry said in a statement.
Formosa Petrochemical processed 69,000 barrels more crude a day on average last month than a year earlier, it said in a statement on Tuesday last week.
Meanwhile, the nation imported 1.04 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas last month for US$809 million, according to Directorate -General of Customs data.
The amount was 21 percent higher than 855,775 tonnes a year earlier, according to the agency’s data.
CPC reduces ethylene supply
State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) has lowered ethylene supply to customers to 53 percent of contracted volume after halting its No. 5 naphtha cracker on Friday, it said on its Web site.
The refiner could resume production at the cracker in the “near future” after safety checks, it said in a statement yesterday.
The company halted the entire naphtha cracker after a pipe leak triggered a fire at the facility’s butadiene plant.
NT dollar dips
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar yesterday, declining NT$0.006 to close at NT$29.568. The currency has rallied 2.4 percent this year against the greenback. Turnover totaled US$526 million during the trading session.