Taiwan stocks rise to two-month high

The China Post staff and agencies

Taiwan’s stocks rose to a two-month high yesterday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to a record, signaling strengthening confidence that credit-markets turmoil is over. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. paced gains.

“Dow Jones’ new high means investors have officially put financial market chaos behind them,” said Liu Juming, who helps manage US$1.7 billion at IBT Securities Co. in Taipei. “Investors in Asia can return to focus on corporate earnings and growth.”

The TAIEX index added 134.75, or 1.4 percent, to close at 9,623.25 in Taipei, its highest close since July 25. About the same number of stocks rose as fell. Futures due in October climbed 1.8 percent to 9,669.

Taiwan Semiconductor, the world’s biggest supplier of made-to-order chips, rose NT$1, or 1.6 percent, to NT$64.90. Taiwan Semiconductor makes about three-quarters of its sales to U.S. buyers. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Taiwan’s biggest electronics exporter, added NT$7, or 2.9 percent, to NT$250.

U.S. stocks rallied Monday, sending the Dow to a record, after Citigroup Inc. said it expects “a normal earnings environment” in the fourth quarter, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the credit slump may be ending.

Losses on U.S. subprime mortgages, home loans granted to higher-risk borrowers, led to a sudden increase in credit costs that triggered a sell-off in global equities in the past quarter.

High Tech, the world’s biggest maker by volume of handsets based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, surged NT$34, or 6.9 percent, to NT$529. Chunghwa Telecom plans to buy more than NT$1 billion worth of handsets from High Tech in the fourth quarter, the Commercial Times reported.

Chunghwa Telecom agreed to buy up to 30,000 of High Tech’s new model CHT 9110 handset from the fourth quarter, Shen Fu-fu, a spokeswoman for the Taipei-based operator said yesterday.