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Banks bolster slight spike in index

SHANGHAI'S stock market closed slightly higher today, as banks gained on better than expected full-year earnings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.12 percent, or 3.68 points, to close at 3,056.81 points. Turnover shrank to 103.5 billion yuan (US$15.2 billion) from 108.7 billion yuan on Tuesday. Losers outnumbered gainers 435 to 426, and 31 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, edged up 0.48 percent to close at 1,187.53 points.

Bank of China advanced 1.7 percent to 4.22 yuan after saying profit rose 26 percent year on year in 2009 to 81.1 billion yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, was up 0.6 percent to 4.88 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank added 0.1 percent to 22.03 yuan. Bank of Communications rose 0.3 percent to 8.06 yuan.

Huaneng International Co, the country's largest electricity provider, said its profit for 2009 was 4.93 billion yuan compared with a net loss in 2008. Its shares dipped 0.4 percent to 7.27 yuan.

Property counters were weak among concerns there will be more tightening measures to curb surging property prices. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, was down 1.3 percent to 9.40 yuan. Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd lost 1.4 percent to 14.85 yuan.


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