Wed, Mar 16, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Traders bet on a falling TAIEX

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

Shares ended lower yesterday as China's "anti-secession" law gave investors an excuse to take profits, mainly in small and medium capital stocks, dealers said.

Merrill Lynch's downgrade of Taiwan to "market weight" last week also exerted further downward pressure, they added.

The TAIEX fell 92.03 points, or 1.5 percent, to 6,063.48.

"China's anti-secession bill and protests in Taiwan are weighing on sentiment,'' said Derek Lam, head of trading at Fubon Securities Co.

But traders said a continued selloff would provide buying opportunities.

The New Taiwan dollar, meanwhile, saw its largest decline in more than two months, down NT$0.168 to close at NT$31.0 against the US dollar in Taipei.

The NT dollar dropped on speculation the central bank will sell its currency to protect exporter profits after Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) on Monday said the authority may "make adjustments" in the exchange rate.

The currency also weakened as global investors yesterday sold the most stocks since Jan. 5 after China passed an anti-secession law and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said relations with China are "very tense" for the moment.

Foreign investors sold a net of NT$3.38 billion worth of Taiwan's stocks, while local institutional investors also reported a sell-off of NT$4.06 billion worth of shares yesterday.

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