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September 22, 2009

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Market senses big spending on extended National Day holiday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended slightly higher yesterday, lifted by consumer companies amid expectations that the coming National Day holiday beginning on October 1 will boost consumption.

Market sentiment was also buoyed by first-day trading in China's second-biggest initial public offering this year. Metallurgical Corp, whose engineering work includes construction on the Beijing Olympics "Bird's Nest" stadium, closed 28 percent above its offer price.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.15 percent to 2,967.012 points, after dropping as much as 2 percent in morning trading. Turnover shrank to 145.8 billion yuan (US$21.4 billion) from 181.5 billion yuan on Friday. Losers outnumbered gainers 655 to 198, with 13 unchanged.

Department store Shanghai Bailian Group Co jumped 6.7 percent to 14.91 yuan. Rival chain Shanghai New World Co advanced 5.23 percent to 13.48 yuan. Appliance maker Qingdao Haier Co rose 4.71 percent to 16.9 yuan.

"Retailers, home goods makers and other consumer-related sectors were the main driver pushing up the index ahead of the national holiday," said Wen Lijun, a Nanjing Securities Co analyst.

China's National Day holiday is one day longer this year than the usual seven days because the Mid-Autumn Festival falls in the same week.

"The index fell in the morning session because shares were weighed down by the listing of Metallurgical Corp," said Wu Ling, an analyst at S&E Securities Brokerage Co. "China's top travel agency will also be listed this week, raising concerns about market liquidity."

New market

China International Travel Service Corp will start to take subscriptions tomorrow in a bid to raise 1.7 billion yuan.

Power producers were strong on media reports that hydropower prices will be raised. Chongqing Three Gorges Water Conservancy surged by the 10 percent daily cap to 8.56 yuan.

Some analysts are raising concerns that the new growth enterprise market in Shenzhen, due to open next month, may siphon funds from the main boards in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

China's securities regulator over the weekend approved another six companies for listing on the new Nasdaq-style board, bringing the total to 13. Of those, 10 will sell shares on Friday.

More applications from small start-up companies seeking capital in a market with more lenient listing requirements will be vetted by authorities this week. Companies staging IPOs on the new market may raise 20 billion yuan this year, analysts said.


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