TAIEX sags in late trading
The TAIEX moved higher in the morning session yesterday, but was later pulled down by old-economy stocks, leading the market’s benchmark index into negative territory, dealers said.
The weighted index closed down 34.17 points, or 0.44 percent, at 7,734.13, after moving between 7,789.39 and 7,720.44 on turnover of NT$77.45 billion (US$2.64 billion).
A total of 1,468 stocks closed up, 2,766 finished down and 479 remained unchanged.
At the end of the session, construction had suffered the steepest decline among the eight major market sectors, finishing down 1.7 percent. Foodstuffs stocks were the only category that gained, finishing 0.4 percent higher.
Overseas offices approved
The Financial Supervisory Commission yesterday approved plans by Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) to establish a representative office in Jakarta, Indonesia, and for E. Sun Commercial Bank (玉山銀行) to establish a branch in Sydney, Australia.
Cathay United Bank is the banking arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), while E. Sun Bank is the banking subsidiary of E. Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控).
The commission said the lenders’ moves were aimed to gain a better understanding of the fast-growing markets in Southeast Asia and Australia, and to tap potential business opportunities.
Exports bounce back: reports
Exports expanded more than 10 percent in the first half of this month from a year earlier, ending six consecutive months of declines, local media reported yesterday, citing Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥).
Shih attributed the turnaround to strong outbound shipments of electronics products, Chinese-language newspapers the Commercial Times and the Economic Daily News reported.
The nation’s exports began to decline in March and accumulated exports from January to August fell 5.6 percent year-on-year to US$196.34 billion.
Taiwan Financial ratings ratified
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) yesterday affirmed its “A+” long-term and “A-1” short-term credit ratings on Taiwan Financial Holdings Co (台灣金控), as well as the state-owned company’s “cnAAA/cnA-1+” Greater China regional scale ratings.
S&P said in a statement that the outlook on the company’s long-term rating was stable.
Taiwan Financial is the nation’s largest state-owned financial services provider.
Growth may exceed 1%: Perng
Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) said yesterday that economic growth in the first half of this year remained sluggish at 0.1 percent due to continued slumps in exports and private investment.
However, Perng said that despite the risks of a further slip in the global economy in the second half of the year, economic growth this year could still exceed 1 percent.
He cited figures compiled by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics that put GDP this year at 1.66 percent and 3.67 percent for next year.
NT dollar up on speculation
The New Taiwan dollar strengthened on speculation exporters are converting overseas earnings as the end of the month approaches.
The NT dollar gained 0.1 percent yesterday to close at NT$29.451 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency hit NT$29.198 on Sept. 17, its strongest level since May 3.
Turnover totaled US$585 million during the trading session.
“Volume’s a bit thin today, it’s mostly trade-related as exporters sell the greenback,” said Tarsicio Tong (湯健揚), a currency trader at Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行).