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Better manufacturing index lifts market in morning

SHANGHAI's key stock index edged up in the morning trade after yesterday's slump among improved manufacturing activities.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.45 percent, or 12.09 points, to close at 2,679.84 points. Turnover was 51.9 billion yuan (US$7.6 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 458 to 399 and 53 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dipped 0.36 percent to close at 901.42 points.

China's Purchasing Manager's Index for August was 54 percent, up 0.7 percentage point from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. The measure for manufacturing activities has been kept above 50, the threshold indicating an expansion, for six months.

China Pacific Insurance Group, the country's third-largest insurer, said its shareholders have approved a plan to sell as many as 1 billion shares in Hong Kong to bolster capital. Its shares lost 3.16 percent to 18.99 yuan.

PetroChina, the biggest oil producer, said it agreed to buy 60 percent stakes in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp's projects in Canada for US$1.73 billion. The stock edged up 0.47 percent to 12.86 yuan.

Light crude oil for October delivery dropped 3.8 percent in New York to close at US$69.90 per barrel. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, dropped 0.81 percent to 11.04 yuan.

Banks rebounded after yesterday's loss. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, rose 1.34 percent to 4.53 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank rose 3.08 percent to 18.39 yuan. China Construction Bank added 2.92 percent to close at 5.29 yuan. Bank of Communications advanced 3.16 percent to 8.17 yuan.

Property developers showed mixed results. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, rose 0.64 percent to 9.46 yuan. Gemdale Corporation was up 0.76 percent to 11.98 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group added 0.92 percent to 20.93 yuan. Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd dropped 1.51 percent to 13.05 yuan.


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