US concerns drag shares down
Share prices edged lower yesterday, with the benchmark index closing below the monthly moving average of 7,690 amid concerns that major companies in the US will report worse-than-expected results for the third quarter.
The TAIEX ranged between a high of 7,707.97 and a low of 7,612.87 before finishing down 74.76 points, or 0.97 percent, at 7,615.89.
Turnover was a relatively low NT$63.85 billion (US$2.18 billion), as investors, concerned about the government’s inability to devise economic policies capable of giving the sluggish domestic economy a spark, stayed on the sidelines, dealers said.
A total of 1,145 stocks closed up, 3,212 finished down and 346 remained unchanged on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Most of the market’s eight major stock categories closed down, with machinery and electronics shares, which usually account for more than 70 percent of the market’s turnover, suffering the heaviest losses at 1.2 percent.
Crude oil purchases rise
Taiwan purchased more crude oil last month as Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) boosted output of refined products.
Shipments rose 18.7 percent from a year earlier to 28.13 million barrels last month, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The nation’s oil bill rose 21 percent to US$3.14 billion last month, the ministry said in a statement.
Last month’s revenue for Formosa Petrochemical, the nation’s only publicly traded oil refiner, jumped 65 percent from a year earlier as the company increased its output of fuels and petrochemicals, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Crude refined during the month was 118,000 barrels a day higher than a year earlier, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Taiwan imported 2.13 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas last month for US$1.75 billion, according to data from the Directorate-General of Customs. The amount doubled from 1.06 million tonnes a year earlier, according to Customs.
Central bank sells bonds
The central bank sold NT$30 billion of five-year bonds yesterday at an average yield of 0.881 percent, which was lower than the 0.795 percent in a similar offering at a July 17 auction.
The bid-to-cover ratio — an indication of demand — was 1.53 times the total at NT$45.9 billion, the central bank said in a statement.
The bank’s July 17 sale of 5-year bonds attracted 1.95 times the total amount of debt on offer, bank data showed.
Trade group generates sales
An export-boosting delegation that embarked on a two-week tour of Mexico, Central and South America has achieved good results, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) said yesterday.
The delegation, which was made up of 32 companies, held nearly 850 procurement meetings in Mexico, Brazil and Columbia, generating US$33.33 million in business, TAITRA said in a statement.
Despite the fact that Taiwan’s exports posted negative annual growth of 4.73 percent in the first half of the year, exports to the region rose 2.46 percent to US$6.98 billion during the same period, according to government statistics.
First-half exports to Mexico jumped 18.2 percent to US$836.89 million, marking the largest increase among Taiwan’s main target export markets, the statistics show.
NT dollar loses ground
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar yesterday, declining NT$0.034 to close at NT$29.402. Turnover totaled about US$550 million during the trading session.