Investors wait on talks
The TAIEX finished lower in thin trade yesterday, led by the financial sector, as many investors cautiously waited for the outcome of an ongoing meeting between the Financial Supervisory Commission and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, dealers said.
However, select old economy stocks, especially the food and textile sectors, attracted rotational buying on a technical rebound, lending some support to the broader market and preventing the index from falling further, dealers said.
The weighted index closed down 19.37 points, or 0.24 percent, at 7,899.24, after moving between 7,896.57 and 7,937.73. Turnover totaled NT$53.37 billion (US$1.78 billion) during the session.
Furloughed workers on the rise
The number of workers furloughed by their employers has risen slightly in the past two weeks, statistics released by the Council of Labor Affairs showed yesterday.
As of Sunday, 1,780 workers from 38 companies had reached agreements with their employers to take leave without pay, with 1,457 of them currently on furlough, the statistics showed.
The number represents an increase from March 15, when 1,711 workers from 35 companies had struck furlough agreements with their employers, 1,396 of which were on furlough at the time.
Most of the furloughed workers will take between one and four days of leave each month, the council said.
Monitor shipments drop
Shipments of LCD monitors from the world’s top 10 makers dropped 25.7 percent in February from the previous month to 8.31 million units, while those of the top 10 brand vendors also declined 23.4 percent to 8.13 million units, market advisor WitsView said.
In a research note, the Taipei-based market information firm attributed the decline to some February orders being shipped in January and demand in China being lower than expected. In addition, there were fewer working days in February this year because of the Lunar New Year holiday, it said.
Next Media decision date set
The Fair Trade Commission yesterday said that it had talked with lawyers involved in the Next Media Group (壹傳媒集團) buyout deal and all of them had yet to receive instructions from their clients to withdraw their bids.
The commission said it planned to make announcement about the deal tomorrow since the deadline of the review process is on Friday.
Germany, Taiwan look for gas
A research vessel carrying German and Taiwanese scientists set sail for waters off the nation’s southwestern coast on Sunday in search of methane hydrate, a potentially bountiful energy source.
The substance, a fossil fuel that consists of very densely-packed methane trapped in ice, is found beneath the seafloor on continental shelves and in the Arctic’s permafrost.
Earlier this month, Japan announced that it had successfully extracted the hydrate, known as “fire ice,” from its seabed, a move it said was a world-first and a major breakthrough for the energy-starved nation.
The 4700-tonne German ship, called the Sonne, will undertake a 50-day expedition at a cost of about US$3.98 million, three-quarters of which will be funded by Germany and the rest by Taiwan.
NT dollar follows won lower
The New Taiwan dollar closed lower against the US dollar yesterday, declining by NT$0.053 to close at NT$29.928 as traders took cues from a falling South Korean won to lower their holdings in the local currency, dealers said.