TAIEX up 70.56 points, trade volume falls below NT$100 bil.

The China Post news staff and Bloomberg

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s stocks yesterday snapped a five-day losing streak as investors became more optimistic about cross-strait ties. The TAIEX gained 70.56 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,778.39 at the close of trading. A downside of yesterday’s rally, however, was that trade volume as only NT$97 billion, the first time turnover fell below the NT$100 billion level over the past three months. At the same time, institutional investors registered a net sale of NT$1.212 billion, breaking down into a net sale of NT$1.401 billion by foreign investors, net buys of NT$1.285 by asset management firms, and net sale of NT$1.095 by securities firms. Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, is currently visiting mainland China on a landmark journey, seen as a warming up of cross-strait ties that had gone sour during the previous administration led by former president Chen Shui-bian. Wu is set to meet Chinese president Hu Jintao today, the first time a current KMT chairman has met face-to-face with a Chinese leader. Lien Chan met Hu only in his capacity as an honorary chairman of the KMT. In individual stocks, Fubon Financial Holding Co. added 20 NT cents, or 0.6 percent, to NT$34 after Taiwan’s third-largest financial services company was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group, with its stock target raised to NT$41.7 from NT$38.8. High Tech Computer Corp. declined NT$9, or 1.2 percent, to NT$763 after United Daily News reported that Garmin Ltd. will release a handset next month which will challenge High Tech in the market for touch-screen phones.

Hua Nan Financial Holding Co. climbed 60 NT cents, or 2 percent, to NT$30.3 after Taiwan’s seventh-largest financial-services company had its price target raised to NT$28 from NT$26 at Credit Suisse.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. added 30 NT cents, or 0.5 percent, NT$65.8 after the world’s largest custom-chip maker said yesterday it may raise its prices.