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After uncertainty market drops

SHANGHAI'S key stock index continued to fluctuate over a wide range and ended lower after gaining for five days.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.08 percent, or 1.92 points, to close at 2,534.13 points. Turnover was 175.3 billion yuan (US$25.6 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 466 to 379 and 63 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was down 0.10 percent to close at 859.51 points.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, fell 1.2 percent year on year in March, the National Bureau of Statistics announced in the morning. This compared with a decline of 1.6 percent in February, the first monthly fall since December 2002. The CPI dropped 0.6 percent year on year in the first quarter.

China's economy expanded by 6.1 percent year on year in the first quarter. The quarterly growth rate was the lowest in 10 years as the global financial crisis continued to affect the world's fastest-growing economy. It was 4.5 percentage points lower than the first quarter of 2008 and down 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Banks showed mixed results. China Minsheng Banking Co Ltd surged 4.45 percent to 5.87 yuan. Bank of Communications lost 0.29 percent to 6.92 yuan. Pudong Development Bank dipped 0.22 percent to 22.46 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co was up 0.93 percent to 16.27 yuan.

The State Council released a detailed plan to boost the electronics and information technology sectors on Wednesday. It said that China would create more than 1.5 million new jobs in three years and the two sectors are expected to contribute at least 0.7 percentage points to the annual gross domestic product growth.
Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co Ltd rose 1.02 percent to 4.94 yuan. Shenzhen Seg Samsung Glass Co Ltd rose 1.01 percent to 4.00 yuan. Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co Ltd added 1.36 percent to 10.42 yuan.

Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 24.24 yuan. China CSSC Holdings Ltd advanced 5.89 percent to 70.97 yuan. CSSC Jiangnan Heavy Industry Co Ltd rose 4.24 percent to 18.68 yuan.

Airlines were among the losers. China Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, reported a loss of 4.82 billion yuan last year. Its shares tumbled 3.08 percent to 5.98 yuan. Air China, the biggest domestic carrier by market value, lost 1.93 percent to 6.61 yuan.


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