TAIEX shares close 0.53% lower on global fears


TAIPEI, AFP

Taiwan share prices closed 0.53 percent lower Saturday as investors remained wary about volatile global markets following a big drop on Chinese markets this week and worries over the U.S. economy, dealers said. A tumble overnight on Wall Street, which ended with its biggest weekly loss in more than four years, added to the caution, they said.

The Taiwan bourse had a special trading session Saturday to make up for market closure on Feb. 23 over the Lunar New Year holidays.

The weighted index closed down 40.62 points at 7,630.15 in a range of 7,587.80 and 7,670.50 Saturday, with turnover at NT$89.95 billion (US$2.73 billion). Decliners led risers 845 to 325, with 172 stocks unchanged.

Two stocks closed limit-down and 26 limit-up.

The construction sector was down 2.09 percent, paper down 1.96 percent, food down 1.17 percent, cement down 0.72 percent, plastics/petrochemical down 0.71 percent, textiles down 0.64 percent, financials down 0.41 percent, and electronics down 0.39 percent. The Taiwan dollar closed the morning at 32.879 to the U.S. dollar, compared with the previous close of 32.918. Rangebound consolidation with a negative bias seems likely to continue dominating trade for a while, said SinoPac Securities assistant vice president Alvin Teng. “The bear may still have a while to go, as has been clearly shown by Wall Street,” he said.

With quite a few foreign investors away from the trading floor today because of the weekend, it is too early to say whether their sell-off has ended, he added.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., closed down NT$0.70 at NT$66.10, and United Microelectronics Corp. was down NT$0.15 at NT$19.45.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. was down NT$0.40 at NT$40.05 despite news that it is planning to buy a 60 percent stake in the Suzhou, China venture of NXP Semiconductors for US$21.60 million.

Powerchip was down NT$0.10 at NT$21.00 after reporting February results.

Nanya Technology was down NT$0.20 at NT$25.80, and Inotera was down NT$0.30 at NT$37.20.

Chunghwa Telecom was up NT$2.90 at NT$63.90. The company said its management will outline capital restructuring proposals by mid-April, including a possible capital reserve adjustment. Taiwan Mobile was down NT$0.45 at NT$32.55 on profit-taking after Friday’s rally on solid purchases by foreign investors over its plan to acquire Taiwan Fixed Network.