TAIEX falls for third straight day to five-year low

By Chinmei Sung, Bloomberg

Taiwan’s TAIEX index lost 150.89, or 3.2 percent, to 4,579.62 at the close, falling a third-straight day to its lowest since May 30, 2003. The measure lost 7.7 percent on the week, the sixth straight weekly decline.

Regulators have halved the limit a stock is permitted to decline to 3.5 percent since Oct. 13. The reduction expired yesterday, and an announcement will be made Oct. 26 on whether to extend it.

AU Optronics Corp., Taiwan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, fell 85 cents, or 3.3 percent, to NT$24.8, the lowest since July 23, 2003. The company posted an NT$860 million in profit for the third quarter. The result missed NT$4.6 billion in profit expected by analysts.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. declined NT$1.6, or 2.2 percent, to NT$72, the most since Oct. 16. Taiwan’s only publicly listed oil refiner restarted an ethylene plant on Oct. 19 that had been shut since Oct. 9, after repairing a fault.

Huaku Development Co. slumped NT$1, or 3.4 percent its daily limit, to NT$28.65, the lowest since April 12, 2006.

Huaku, Taiwan’s fourth-largest property developer said it will increase investments in commercial real-estate projects to take advantage of falling materials costs.