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Sat, Mar 09, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Xbox recall fears drive stocks lower

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Taiwan stocks fell for a second day after Microsoft Corp said it's recalling the Xbox in Japan, dragging down Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and other companies that make parts for the game console.

"The recall will affect companies related to the Xbox in terms of delayed sales," said Bentham Hung, who manages NT$3.5 billion (US$100 million) in stocks at Fu-Hwa Securities Investment Trust Co (復華投信).

The TWSE Index fell 36.50, or 0.6 percent, to 6011.65, though it finished the week up 5.8 percent.

Still, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and other computer-related shares fell Friday after Taiwan said exports slumped more than expected in February.

Within the index, 318 stocks rose and 177 fell. The total value of trade was NT$152.2 billion (US$4.4 billion), 50 percent above the six-month daily average of NT$101 billion.

Companies that make parts for video-game consoles fell after Microsoft said it's recalling the Xbox in Japan because of a defect.

TSMC, which makes chips for Nvidia Corp, whose semiconductors are used in the Xbox, fell NT$2, or 2.1 percent, to NT$91.50. Weltrend Semiconductor Inc (偉詮), which designs chips for the Xbox, fell NT$0.50, or 0.9 percent, to NT$57. Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. (正崴) fell NT$6, or 3.8 percent, to NT$152.

Computer-parts makers fell after the government said Taiwan exports slumped by their widest margin in five months. Shipments to the U.S., Taiwan's largest buyer of computers, mobile phones and other exports, fell more than a fifth from a year earlier.

Taiwan's largest motherboard maker, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), fell NT$2, or 1.2 percent, to NT$163. Rival Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英) fell NT$8, or 3.9 percent, to NT$199. Hon Hai, which makes everything in a computer except the chips, slid NT$7, or 4.2 percent, to NT$160.

Compeq Manufacturing Co (華通電子) rose NT$3.50, or 6.4 percent, to NT$58.50. Taiwan's largest circuit-board maker began supplying boards for Motorola Inc's mobile phones, and forecasts shipments will rise in the second quarter as it receives more orders from Motorola and Qualcomm Inc, a Chinese language newspaper reported.

Delta Electronics Inc (台達電子) rose NT$0.50, or 0.9 percent, to NT$59.50. The largest maker of power supplies for personal computers reported sales in February fell 30 percent on year to NT$2.8 billion.

GVC Corp (致福) rose NT$0.90, or 3.4 percent, to NT$27.30. The mobile-phone maker forecasts handset shipments this year will more than double to 3 million units from last year, with more than four-fifths being shipped to Ericsson AB, the paper said.

Nan Ya Plastic Corp (南亞塑膠) rose NT$0.30, or 0.8 percent, to NT$37.30. The maker of plastic and chemical fibers forecasts pretax profit will rise more than fourfold to NT$20 billion this year, boosted by recovering demand for materials used to make circuit boards for the electronics industry.

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體) fell NT$0.10, or 0.4 percent, to NT$27.40. Taiwan's second-largest computer-memory-chip maker said sales in February rose 3.3 percent on year to NT$1.2 billion. The chipmaker began installing equipment at its 300-mm wafer plant and plans to start test- production in the third quarter.

Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) rose NT$0.40, or 1.1 percent, to NT$35.40. The third-largest chip packager said February sales rose more than a quarter from the previous year, and 4 percent from January, to NT$1.7 billion.

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