Taiwan shares advance 0.26% on cement jump


TAIPEI — Taiwan share prices closed up 0.26 percent yesterday, with cement shares jumping on investors’ optimism about strong demand in China, analysts said.

The weighted index closed 22.53 points higher, ending at 8,802.73, after moving between 8,772.30 and 8,835.39, on trading volume of NT$103.454 billion. Cement stocks posted the heaviest gains among the market’s eight major categories, ending up 3.7 percent.

The gains came at a time when local cement companies are seeing robust demand from China’s infrastructure projects. In addition, China plans to phase out small, low-production, energy-intensive cement factories and is shifting cement purchases to Taiwan, analysts said.

There is also higher demand from Japan’s reconstruction work after that country was hit by a strong earthquake and tsunami on March 11, they added.

The machinery and electronics sector gained 0.5 percent. In contrast, both the financial sector and the plastics and chemicals sector dropped 0.3 percent.

Construction shares lost 0.2 percent, while textiles, paper and pulp shares, and agri foods all slid 0.1 percent.

A total of 2,484 stocks closed up, 1,582 finished down and 587 remained unchanged.