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Wed, Mar 27, 2002 - Page 18 News List

TAIEX mixed; Quanta up as China Steel, TSMC drop

BLOOMBERG TAIPEI

The TAIEX rose for a third day, paced by Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), after The New York Times reported that Taiwan's largest notebook computer maker expects sales to increase by half this year.

China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest steelmaker, fell after China's trade ministry said it's investigating whether Taiwan and three other countries sold the metal at below cost, the second pricing check on overseas products in two months.

The TAIEX added 23.47, or 0.4 percent, to 6242.64, its highest since Oct. 7, 2000. Within the index, 317 stocks rose, 184 dropped, while 55 were unchanged.

Investors say overseas funds helped drive the index up 9.9 percent this month, prompting individuals, who make up as much as 80 percent of daily trading, to follow suit. Individual investors are focusing on smaller computer and electronics peripheral equipment makers such as Sunplus Technology Co (凌揚科技) and Episil Technologies Inc (漢磊科技), traders said.

"Investment decisions no longer have much to do with whether there's an economic recovery," said Darwin Chang, who helps manage NT$570 million (US$16 million) at Reliance Securities Investment Trust Co. "As foreign investors buy the major stocks, they help to hold up the market and encourage local investors to buy more of the smaller stocks."

Quanta rose NT$5, or 3.9 percent, to NT$134. Founder Barry Lam (林百里) expects sales to increase 51 percent to US$5 billion this year and to reach US$10 billion by 2004, The New York Times reported.

Steelmakers fell after China's trade ministry said it's investigating whether Taiwan, South Korea and three other steel exporters sold cold-rolled steel on the mainland at below cost.

Computer-related shares fell after the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 2.1 percent yesterday on concern rising borrowing costs will slow corporate profit growth and dent demand.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world's biggest maker of chips for other companies, fell NT$1.50, or 1.6 percent, to NT$94.50. Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), Taiwan's largest motherboard maker, fell NT$2, or 1.2 percent, to NT$160. Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密), Taiwan's second largest chip assembler, fell NT$1.10, or 3.1 percent, to NT$34.30.

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