Shares close up 0.3 percent after rates cut


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan share prices closed 0.3 percent higher Wednesday as late profit-taking limited gains propelled by Wall Street and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s larger-than-expected interest rate cut, dealers said. They said regional markets such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong moved higher in line with the New York lead, convincing investors here to follow suit on the lack of major domestic leads.

The weighted index closed up 26.47 points at 8,926.38, after trading in a range between 8,900.80 and 9,090.90. Turnover was NT$171.26 billion (US$5.17 billion). Decliners outnumbered advancers 1,276 to 562, with 216 stocks unchanged.

The Fed cut its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point to 4.75 percent after keeping it unchanged for more than a year.

Dealers said, however, investors were also eager to lock into profits in late trade.

A total of 15 stocks closed limit-up, while 49 were limit-down.

The cement sector was up 3.53 percent, transport rose 2.75 percent and financials gained 1.44 percent.

The tourism sector was down 1.78 percent and electronics dropped 0.63 percent. The Taiwan dollar ended the morning session at 33.110 to the dollar, compared with the previous close of 33.110.

Kevin Chung, a manager at Jih Sun Securities Investment Consulting Co., said investors were reluctant to chase prices higher with uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy and technical resistance on the local bourse offsetting early gains.

While most investors do not expect any aggressive moves made by Taiwan’s central bank at its board meeting Thursday, they nevertheless remain cautious, he added.

Taiwan’s markets will be closed next Monday and Tuesday for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

High Tech Computer Corp. closed up NT$12.50 or 2.78 percent at NT$462.50. It rose after a report that the company has secured a contract from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB to design and assemble the latter’s first smartphone using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile platform.

Yulon Motor Co. Ltd. lost NT$0.45 or 1.27 percent to NT$35.10 in the wake of a report that Shanghai General Motors has decided not to sell the Buick Excelle sedan developed by Taiwan’s Yulon Motor group on the mainland. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) rose NT$0.60 to NT$61.40 on a report that Spansion Inc. will contract TSMC to make chips using 65-nanometer technology from the fourth quarter. MediaTek Inc. fell NT$10.00 or 1.75 percent to NT$560.00 despite a report that Spansion will use the NOR flash memory chips in conjunction with cellular chips designed by MediaTek in order to make inroads into the Chinese market. China Steel Corp. rallied NT$0.95 or 2.22 percent to NT$43.65 as the company said it has no plans at present to change the company’s name or effect a merger of the firm with unit Dragon Steel Corp. United Microelectronics Corp. advanced NT$0.45 or 2.40 percent to NT$19.20 in its last session before the world’s second-largest wafer foundry halts trading in its shares between Sept. 20 and Oct. 8 due to its capital reduction exercise.