Stocks fell, led by computer-memory-chipmakers such as Winbond Electronics Corp (
The TAIEX fell 73.72, or 1.2 percent, to 6122.54. Within the index, 305 stocks fell, and 195 rose. The total value of trade was NT$131 billion (US$3.7 billion), more than a quarter above the six-month daily average of NT$103.5 billion.
The TWSE Electronics Index, which measures the performance of electronics companies of the TWSE Index, has soared more than half in the past four months on optimism a growing US economy would boost demand for Taiwan's semiconductors and other electronics.
Falling PC demand in the second quarter may dampen chip prices, which have more than quadrupled in the past four months, cutting earnings at chipmakers like Winbond.
"Memory-chip prices are unlikely to rise if PC demand weakens in the second quarter," said Gary Tsai, who helps manage NT$3.6 billion (US$103 million) in stocks at ING CHB Securities & Investment Trust (彰銀喬治亞投信). "For memory-chip companies whose shares have risen so much, that's a cue to sell."
Computer-memory-chipmakers fell on concern semiconductor prices may drop as personal-computer demand weakens in the second quarter. Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner forecasts PC shipments in the second quarter will fall as much as four percent from the first quarter.
Yesterday, Goldman Sachs Group Inc downgraded Asia's computer-memory-chipmakers, including Winbond, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), and Powerchip Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), citing slower-than expected PC demand and rising chip supply from Samsung Electronics Co and Micron Technology Inc. Samsung and Micron account for more than half the computer-memory chip market.
Winbond fell NT$2, or 6.9 percent, to NT$27.10. Nanya Technology slipped NT$2.30, or 4.8 percent, to NT$45.50. Powerchip fell NT$1.30, or 4.7 percent, to NT$26.50.
Made-to-order chipmakers fell as investors bet their gains in the past month outpaced an anticipated earnings recovery as the US economy resumes growth.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the largest made-to-order chipmaker, fell NT$2.50, or 2.6 percent, to NT$95. United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), TSMC's largest rival, slipped NT$2.50, or 4.6 percent, to NT$52.
Acer Laboratories Inc (
Chang Hwa Bank (
Macronix International Co (
Mosel Vitelic Inc (