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Brokerages, construction firms drag market down at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower in morning trade as brokerages and construction companies plunged.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.04 percent, or 22.86 points, to close at 2,170.15 points at 11:30am. Turnover was 55.3 billion yuan (US$8.1 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 636 to 217 and 55 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dipped 1.33 percent to close at 705.50 points.

Anhui Conch Cement Co said it planned to spend at least 20 billion yuan in five years to add its production capacity. Its shares dipped 3.86 percent to 33.39 yuan. Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co Ltd buckled 6.41 percent to 7.30 yuan. Fujian Cement Inc slid 6.57 percent to 6.11 yuan.

Guoyuan Securities said in a statement that its share sale was terminated after the time limit on the transaction expired. Its shares tumbled 3.83 percent to 14.81 yuan.

Haitong Securities lost 4.43 percent to 12.08 yuan and Sinolink Securities were down 2.98 percent to 28.95 yuan.

Real estate developers had mixed trading. China Vanke Co, the largest listed domestic property developer, dipped 0.50 percent to 8.04 yuan. Gemdale Corporation added 1.19 percent to 9.32 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd lost 1.49 percent to 19.80 yuan.

Poly Real Estate Group Co said it had 2 billion yuan worth of property sales in February, almost three times the 710 million yuan worth of sales it posted for the same period last year. Its shares added 1.42 percent to 20.68 yuan.

Maanshan Iron and Steel Co, the nation's fourth-biggest maker of the construction metal by value, said it would suffer losses in the first two months of this year. Its stock dipped 1.60 percent to 3.70 yuan.


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