Taiwan stock market down 2.2% to lowest level of year

Sandra Chuang, The China Post

The Taiwan stock market yesterday hit the lowest level of the year, falling 104.66 points, or 2.2 percent, to close at 4,739.16 on a thin daily turnover of NT$28.9 billion.

The index dropped 42.56 points at the opening amid concern over corporate performance and LG Philips’ decision to close two plants in Taiwan. Selling emerged as the session progressed, pushing the index down further toward the close. “The already weak sentiment was further dampened after a series of negative news,” said a dealer.

Following the sudden closure of Wellphone Securities on Tuesday, LG Philips announced that it has decided to close two factories in Taiwan. “Given these negative reports on the island’s economic situation, investors seem unwilling to jump into the market before corporates provide a clearer picture of their earnings,” the dealer said. Technology shares continued their recent falls on weak profit outlooks, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. falling 1.5 percent to NT$65.5 and United Microelectronics Corp. shedding 1.1 percent to close at NT$45.4. Financial shares moved lower on concern over the local investment environment and the prospect of further political disturbances in the year-end election. Traditional shares were generally lower as sentiment remained negative due to the fundamentally weak outlook.