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Better times promise buoys market

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose today in anticipation of better economic conditions in the second quarter.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 1.61 percent, or 47.1 points, to close at 2,975.31 points, after touching a low of 2,918.39 points. Gainers outnumbered losers 540 to 271 while 31 remained unchanged. Turnover swelled to 136.9 billion yuan (US$20.13 billion) from 115.3 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.03 percent to close at 968.54 points.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of China's central bank, said over the weekend that economic growth in the second quarter is expected to be faster than the 6.1 percent rise in the first quarter, the slowest pace in nearly 20 years.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission is reportedly set to issue guidelines to stabilize the stock market with stricter limits on the sale of convertible bonds and limits on reducing shares by the biggest shareholders of state-owned company.

Property developers led the gains. Gemdale Corp, a Chinese partner of ING Group NV, jumped 1.9 percent to 16.08 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co, China's second-largest developer by market value, soared 4.06 percent to 27.71 yuan while Shanghai-based Shimao Property Co climbed 1.39 percent to 14.59 yuan.

Insurers were on the profiting side. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co advanced 4.61 percent to 22.48 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co increased 2.66 percent to 48.17 yuan. China Life Insurance Co expanded 1.09 percent to 27.75 yuan.


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