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Taiwan News Morning Briefing - March 25
Taiwan News
2014-03-25 09:11 AM
Market & Commodity

Taiwan stock market (TAIEX) opened 16 points, or 0.19 percent, lower on Tuesday at 8,589 on turnover of NT$1.84 billion.

■ Weakness in the health care and technology sectors dragged the U.S. stock market lower Monday. Pfizer had the biggest loss in the Dow Jones industrial average, 2 percent. Biotech stocks continued a decline that began Friday after lawmakers questioned the pricing of a Hepatitis C drug. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell nine points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 1,857. The Dow lost 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,276. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite fell 50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,226. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.73 percent. (AP)

■ Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 14 cents to close at US$99.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP)

■ The Taipei Stock Market opened low but trended high on Monday, gaining 28.21 points, or +0.32%, to close at 8605.38 points. Turnover contracted to NT$79.02 billion. The OTC market closed down for the fourth consecutive day, falling 1.46 points, or -1.02%, to 140.94 points with a turnover of NT$26.59 billion. (Taiwan News)

World News

■ The full statement given late Monday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who said satellite data showed Flight 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. After the excruciating 17-day wait for confirmation that the Boeing 777 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, searchers are racing to locate the so-called black boxes before a battery-powered ping they emit fades away. (AP)

■ Ukraine is hoping the United Nations General Assembly will adopt a resolution later this week reaffirming the country's unity and territorial integrity and underscoring that the referendum in Crimea that led to its annexation by Russia "has no validity." The draft resolution, circulated Monday to the 193 assembly members and obtained by The Associated Press, never mentions Russia by name but calls on all countries not to recognize "any alteration of the status" of Crimea. (AP)

■ A passenger train crashed through the end of the line early Monday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and barreled up an escalator and stairs, leaving 32 people with non-life threatening injuries, according to Reuters report.

Local News

■ Dennis Wei, the student leader is set free on his own recognizance at midnight, after hours of detainment following the clash at the Executive Yuan between Sunday night and early Monday. A large group of supporters of Wei waiting outside the district court in Taipei hailed as they learned the result. (Taiwan News)

■ Government and school officials are saying that the action of storming the Executive Yuan by students protesting the trade in services agreement has shifted the focus of attention on their movement away from freedom of speech and expression. Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling said Monday that the students’ attempt to occupy the Executive Yuan was illegal and called for the students to end their protest and go home. Meanwhile a number of university presidents now say that the students’ behavior has passed beyond issues such as freedom of speech and they no longer support their actions in protesting the trade agreement. (Taiwan News)

■ As the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services crisis continues to broaden, Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch enters the fray to denounce "rumormongering” professors and lawyers who “use their professional image to mislead the public,” deliberately spread false information, distort facts, and truly “misdirect the nation and damage Taiwan.” He emphasized that there are absolutely no under-the-table deals, no allowance for labor immigration to Taiwan, and definitely no impact on Taiwanese labor. Chang also stated that any amendment equals rejection and a need to restart negotiations. (Taiwan News)

■ The President’s Office has emphatically denied reports that Tsai Der-sheng is stepping down as head of the National Security Bureau. Tsai was said to have offered a verbal resignation to President Ma Ying-jeou, citing health reasons and pressures brought on by the student protest taking place at the Legislative Yuan. (Taiwan News)

■ Former Vice President Vincent Siew said Sunday that if Taiwan's economy is to "turn around," everyone must recognize that a free economy is Taiwan's lifeline to the rest of the world, and the government and the people must work together to build a better future for all. (Taiwan News)

■ This week, National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairperson Howard S.H. Shyr will invite the chairpersons of six telecommunications companies to a conference to voice their opinions. Chunghwa Telecom chairman Rick Tsai, Taiwan Mobile chairman Richard Tsai, FarEasTone (FET) chairman Douglas Hsu, Asia Pacific Telecom chairwoman Sophia Chiu, Taiwan Star chairman Wei Ying-chiao, and Ambit Microsystems chairman Terry Gou are expected to attend. The NCC is endeavoring to issue 4G charter licenses to companies at the end of June, according to Economic Daily News. (Taiwan News)

■ Industrial output in Taiwan rebounded from negative territory to positive growth in February on the back of increased production in the semiconductor and solar power industries, according to official data released Monday. (CNA)

■ Police managed to remove protesters from inside the Executive Yuan compound just before dawn Monday using high-pressure water cannons. Police in riot gear began using two water cannons mounted on trucks at 4:25 a.m., which they aimed at the entrance of the compound to facilitate the removal of the protesters against the trade pact with China, who had occupied the Cabinet headquarters since Sunday evening. (CNA)

■ A total of 174 people, including 119 police officers, were injured as thousands of law enforcement personnel removed at least several hundred protesters from the Executive Yuan overnight, the National Police Agency said later Monday. (CNA)

■ President Ma Ying-jeou's administration welcomes a debate with opposition leaders on a controversial trade in services pact with China that has sparked student-led protests and the occupation of government buildings, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Monday. (CNA)

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