Taiwan shares gain on foreign capital inflow


TAIPEI — The inflow of foreign capital helped Taiwan’s main stock index push back above the 7,900-point level yesterday, continuing its upward trend since the end of the Lunar New Year holiday in late January.

The market’s weighted index opened slightly higher but moved to the day’s low of 7,837.58 in early trading.

It returned to positive territory around 10 a.m. and later touched the high of 7,917.96, before closing up 50.64 points, or 0.64 percent, at 7,912.91 on turnover of NT$136.29 billion.

During the session, buying focused on construction stocks, whose 1.82 percent gain was the highest for any of the eight main stock categories on the local bourse.

Price Housing and Development Corp. and Delpha Construction Co. closed at NT$23.55 and NT$11.3, respectively, both near the daily maximum permissible rise of 7 percent.

Cement shares rose 1.19 percent, plastics and chemical stocks gained 0.77 percent, textile shares added 0.72 percent, and food shares climbed 0.67 percent.

Also, the paper and pulp sector rose 0.62 percent, financials added 0.51 percent, and machinery and electronics shares finished up 0.48 percent.

Capital Securities Corp. analyst Alan Tseng said the appreciating Taiwan dollar has drawn in foreign investors, boosting the local market, with buying shifting among sectors in recent days.

Tseng added that stocks perceived as undervalued or that were not lifted up by the broader market’s recent rally, such as mobile phone chip maker MediaTek Inc., had begun to make up ground. MediaTek soared 6.86 percent to NT$311.5 on Monday.

Meanwhile, the shipping freight hike passed last week by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement shipping group led to a rise in the share prices of Evergreen Marine Corp. and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. by 2.91 percent and 6.77 percent to NT$19.45 and NT$17.35, respectively.

The 15 members of the group, including Evergreen and Yang Ming, plan to increase the freight rate on routes between Asia and the west coast of the United States by US$300 per 40-foot container.