Taiwan’s Main Stock Index Hits All-Time High; Steelmakers, TSMC, Evergreen Marine Gain

, Taiwan’s Main Stock Index Hits All-Time High; Steelmakers, TSMC, Evergreen Marine Gain
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, Taiwan’s Main Stock Index Hits All-Time High; Steelmakers, TSMC, Evergreen Marine Gain

Taiwan’s benchmark weighted price index closed at a record high on Monday as a local flare-up in Covid-19 cases continued to ease, buoying hopes that U.S. economic recovery will benefit island firms.   Bellwether industrial businesses and electronics suppliers gained.

The index closed at 17,919.33, up by 1.18% from a day earlier; it’s vaulted by 48% in the past year as investors shrugged off geopolitical and military tension with Beijing. Taiwan is home to about 24 million people and a key supplier to large global technology firms including Apple.

Health authorities on Monday reported 31 Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily total since May 14, according to the Central News Agency.  The island until recently had avoided the worst of the pandemic, making it a global standout and one of few economies in the world to grow in 2020. Prospects for economic improvement this year remain intact. HSBC in a report last report raised its forecast of Taiwan’s GDP growth this year to 6.0% from a previous 5.0%.; that compares with an increase of 3.1% in 2020.

China Steel, Taiwan’s largest steel maker whose shares have recently traded at their best level in more than a decade, rose by 2.4% to NT$39.90 amid rising steel prices.  Semiconductor makers benefiting from robust global chip demand and shortages also gained. United Microelectronics, or UMC,  rose by 3.4% to NT$54.40 after it said revenue increased by nearly 19% in June from a year ago. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, or TSMC, one of the world’s largest chip manufacturers, gained 0.5% to NT$591. Passive electronics components maker Yageo, led by billionaire Pierre Chen, gained 2.7% to NT$571, best close since April 20. The company last week said it would merge with Chilisin Electronics (see related story here).

Evergreen Marine, one of the world’s largest shippers, rose by 5.1% to NT$217, an all-time high that is enriching the family of deceased founder Y.F. Chang; Evergreen shares have shot up 20 times in value in the past year following an increase in shipping rates; the company’s value is now nearly $41 billion.

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