TAIEX up on cross-strait hopes
The TAIEX moved higher to close above the 8,000-point mark yesterday after the financial sector continued its momentum as investors are expecting Taiwan and China to come up with more measures to boost cross-strait financial exchanges, dealers said.
The financial sub-index closed up 2.13 percent after major financial companies reported impressive earnings in the first two months, they said.
The TAIEX closed up 54.63 points, or 0.69 percent, at 8,015.14, after moving between 7,981.00 and 8,029.14, on turnover of NT$91.97 billion (US$3.10 billion).
Number of new factories falls
The number of new factories that registered with the government and started operations last year fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier to 3,595, reflecting last year’s economic slowdown, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
The ministry said the metal products sector, which includes screw and nut manufacturers, had the largest number of newly registered factories last year, with 958 starting production, 5.9 percent fewer than the previous year.
The machinery sector came in second with 487 new factories registered last year, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier, ahead of the food manufacturing sector with 301 new factories, up 17.1 percent year-on-year, the ministry said.
Inflation to normalize: Barclays
The nation’s rate of inflation will return to a more “normal track” after spiking last month, Barclays PLC said.
The consumer price index rose nearly 3 percent year-on-year last month due to a seasonal pickup in demand over the Lunar New Year holiday and a low base of comparison last year, the government’s statistics agency reported on Wednesday.
Inflation for this month is likely to remain at “relatively high levels” and then return to normal afterward, the British bank said.
The bank expects inflation to be 2 percent in the first quarter and rise by an average of 1.5 percent this year, down from 1.93 percent last year.
US trade talks rescheduled
A new round of major trade talks between the US and Taiwan has been rescheduled from Monday to tomorrow the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday
The schedule was changed because Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, who will head the US delegation, “required a last-minute change due to major events,” the ministry said in a statement.
The talks, to be held under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, will be co-hosted tomorrow by Marantis and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭), and are to be followed by a joint press briefing, the ministry said. Delegates will continue to participate in bilateral meetings through Tuesday.
Lite-On posts aggregate gain
Electronics component maker Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said that consolidated revenue declined 12 percent year-on-year to NT$7.73 billion last month, mainly due to the seasonal impact of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Aggregated revenue for the first two months was NT$18.11 billion, up 7 percent year-on-year, the company said in a statement.
For this month, the company said it expects shipments to increase as all core business units had reported healthy orders.
NT dollar down on greenback
The New Taiwan dollar closed lower against the US dollar yesterday, declining NT$0.023 to NT$29.718.
Turnover totaled US$623 million during the trading session.