Up despite Wall Street’s overnight fall

By Sandra Chuang, The China Post

The Taiwan stock market today rose 39.44 points to close at 5,158.63, on a daily turnover of NT$36 billion. The index fell 38.39 points to test the 5,000-point resistance at the opening following the overnight losses in U.S. stocks. However, the market was able to rebound within one hour as bargain hunting emerged as the session progressed. The market remained range-bound and in consolidation for the rest of the session.

“Wall Street’s weakness and increased concerns over the economic outlook cast a shadow on the session when it opened,” said a dealer. However, he added, market confidence recovered soon as it was apparent that little damage had been done to major companies after Thursday’s series of earthquakes. In addition to positive reports from companies following the earthquakes, news that a free-float system by the FTSE for its international indices will start on Monday also helped boost market confidence as the indices is expected to raise Taiwan’s weighting, he added.

Technology shares were mixed on suspected support from government-related funds and the belief that the third quarter for the IT industry might post a mild recovery. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. rose 1.1 percent to NT$93.5 while United Microelectronics Corp. added 1 percent to NT$52.5. In particular, CD-R manufacturers led gainers on expectations that their strengthening prices will cause rising profits in the following quarter. Acer Inc. rose 7 percent to NT$23 while Ritek Corp. gained 2.7 percent to NT$76. Financial shares generally moved higher on reports of merger speculation and hopes that financial-related bills will be passed in the near future.