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Local bourse up but turnover still thin

TAIPEI -- The local bourse closed in positive territory yesterday on the back of rotational buying, as the construction sector was in focus after several property developers reported impressive earnings for the first half of this year, dealers said.

However, turnover remained low as many investors stayed on the sidelines, waiting for a speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day on the economy, they said.

The weighted index closed up 25.62 points, or 0.34 percent, at 7,397.06, after moving between 7,363.25 and 7,406.52 on turnover of NT$60.98 billion.

The market opened down 0.11 percent at the day's low after overnight weakness on Wall Street, and bargain hunters turned active to pick up market laggards such as property developers, which helped the index reverse its early losses by the end of the session, the dealers said.

“Buying rotated quickly among sectors in recent sessions. As a result, the market failed to make a breakthrough from the current doldrums due to the lack of a mainstream sector to maintain momentum,” Concord Securities analyst Kerry Huang said.

The construction sector scored the highest gains among the eight major stock categories, finishing up 1.7 percent.

Among the winning property developers, Farglory Land Development gained 4.87 percent to close at NT$53.90 and Prince Housing rose 4.38 percent to end at NT$21.45 after they reported NT$3.33 and NT$1.09 in earnings per share, respectively, for the first half of this year.

The high tech sector was mixed. Asustek Computer, the world's largest personal computer vendor, maintained its steam from a session earlier to close up 1.53 percent at NT$299.00 on better-than expected earnings for the second quarter.

Hon Hai Precision, the No. 1 contract electronics maker, ended down 0.82 percent at NT$84.80 off an early low of NT$83.10, amid concerns over its second quarter results set to be released later in the day.

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