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Fri, Nov 09, 2001 - Page 24 News List

First Commercial, Asustek lead fall in Taiwan stocks


Taiwan stocks fell for the first day in six on concern that the TAIEX's 20 percent advance since October is unwarranted, given future earnings prospects.

Lenders such as First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) led declines on doubts that the central bank's eleventh rate cut in less than a year on Wednesday, will help companies repay their debts and lower banks' non-performing loans.

The TAIEX dropped 23.12, or 0.6 percent, to 4135.03, after falling as much as 1.1 percent and rising as much as 1.2 percent. Two stocks fell for every one that rose. The total value of trade was NT$71.5 billion (US$2.1 billion), 7 percent above this year's average of NT$67 billion.

The index is close to a so-called resistance level based on a 90-day moving average of 4202.125, which may prompt some investors to sell stocks, said Tu Kuei-shiong, who helps manage NT$200 million (US$6 million) in Taiwan equities at Lian-Shan Investment Management Co in Taipei. "Market conditions aren't good," Tu said. Some "70 percent of companies aren't making money at all." He is waiting for the index to fall to 3,900 before buying.

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