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DRAM Spot Prices Rise On Hopes Samsung May Slow Chip Invest

TAIPEI -(Dow Jones)- Spot prices of dynamic-random-access-memory chips widely used in personal computers continued to rise Tuesday on hopes the oversupply of chips would ease, after the Korea Times reported that Samsung Electronics Co. ( 005930.SE) plans to cut its investment in semiconductor chips by more than half in 2009.

The rise in spot prices bodes well for contract prices in the first half of January.

The average spot price of the mainstream 1-gigabit double-data-rate-two chip that runs at 667 megahertz rose 1.3% to US$0.78 from US$0.77 Monday, and was 6.8% higher from US$0.73 on Dec. 31, 2008, data from Taiwanese online chip clearinghouse DRAMeXchange showed Tuesday.

Tuesday's price was also the highest since Nov. 21, 2008, when it was at US$ 0.79, DRAMeXchange data showed.

Korea Times reported Sunday that South Korea's Samsung, the world's largest DRAM maker by revenue, is considering reducing its investment in semiconductor chips to KRW2 trillion-KRW3 trillion this year from KRW6.2 trillion last year.

The report boosted shares of chipmakers.

U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. (MU) jumped 16.9% to US$3.32 Monday, its highest closing level since mid-November.

Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. (5346.OT), Taiwan's largest DRAM maker by revenue that sells most of its DRAM chips to the spot market, rose 4.7% to NT$ 3.99 as of 0418 GMT Tuesday, while its smaller rival Nanya Technology Corp. ( 2408.TW) climbed 4.1% to NT$6.38.