Taiwan share prices tumbled 6.2 percent Monday, falling to their lowest level in over four years, amid mounting political uncertainty and absence of government support, dealers said.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange weighted price index fell 322.14 points to 4,845.21, on turnover of 45.62 billion Taiwan dollars (1.41 billion US).
This was its lowest since March 13 1996 when the index plunged to 4,751 points during the Chinese sabre-rattling in the Taiwan Strait.
"Domestic political turmoil from possible impeachment motion against the president, to the ruling party's refusal to accept one China principal has
triggered (a) confidence crisis," said James Su, manager of Power World
Allegations by Vice President Annette Lu that President Chen Shui-bian is having an affair with his English translator raised more uncertainties about the political prospects of the island, following opposition talk of impeaching the president over scraping a partly-built nuclear power plant, he added.
Sentiment was further depressed by the absence of government stabilization funds, which have stopped supporting the market since last week, he said.
"Heavy selling pressure also came from renewed fears over military tensions between Taiwan and China," Su said.
Taiwan's political uncertainty has been heightened by Hong Kong newspaper reports over the weekend, which claimed a senior Chinese military leader thinks a war is certain to break out in the Taiwan strait within the next five years.
In the near term, Su said the market is likely to face further downturns on lingering political worries and a weak US market battered by lower-than-expected corporate results and uncertainty over the outcome of the US presidential election.
Decliners overwhelmed risers 550 to 17, with 34 issues unchanged.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company lost 6.00 dollars to 88.00, United Microelectronics Corp. plunged 3.50 dollars to its daily limit at 50.50, and Macronix International also dropped 3.50 to 47.50 -- TAIPEI (AFP)
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