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Market edges down

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower today, with steel producers dropping and investors uncertain of the market ahead of the long National Day's holiday .

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.33 percent, or 8.98 points, to close at 2,754.54 points. Turnover was 74.3 billion yuan(US$10.9 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 715 to 159, and 36 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, lost 1.48 percent to close at 937.16 points.

"The market is likely to remain flat before it is reopened on October 9 and the fluctuations will likely continue if there is no positive signs of economic recovery," said Chen Wei, an analyst with United Securities.

Banks were among the gainers after a report from China Agricultural Bank suggested new loans in September may climb over 600 billion yuan, nearly double that of 320 billion yuan in August.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank advanced 2.98 percent to 19.67 yuan. China Industrial Bank rose 3.69 percent to close at 33.15 yuan. Bank of Communications was up 1.47 percent to 8.31 yuan.

Yangtze Power, the world's largest hydroelectric power producer, said in a statement today it has completed the takeover of all its parent company's core assets. The shares were almost unchanged at 13.32 yuan.

Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co, the Chinese truck maker, increased 1.01 percent to 8.04 yuan after it said it will own a 50-percent stake in a 2-billion-yuan joint venture with Caterpillar Inc and Navistar International Corp.

Steel producers were among the losers. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd dipped 0.31 percent to 6.44 yuan. Wuhan Iron & Steel retreated 2.12 percent to 6.91 yuan. Maanshan Iron & Steel Ltd Co was down 1.9 percent to 4.12 yuan.

Other metal producers were also weak. Zijin Mining Co lowered 0.48 percent to 8.29 yuan. Jiangxi Copper Co dropped 1.27 percent to 32.64 yuan. Yunnan Copper Co retreated 1.65 to 24.42 yuan.


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