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Cautious investors keep market unchanged at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index remained almost unchanged in the morning trade with investors remaining cautious although financial shares were strong.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.06 percent, or 1.69 points, to close at 2,745.45 points as of 11:30am. Turnover was 52.6 billion yuan (US$7.7 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 430 to 382 and 96 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dipped 0.09 percent to close at 902.91 points.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co has reached an agreement with Shenzhen Development Bank Co to pay US$3.2 billion to the insurer to become its biggest shareholder. Ping An will buy at least 370 million shares from the lender and will gain an extra 520 million corporate shares from an institutional investor. Ping An Insurance added 0.67 percent to 45.40 yuan and Shenzhen Development Bank surged 7.20 percent to 21.44 yuan.

Other financial shares were also strong in the first half of trading. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, rose 1.49 percent to 4.76 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was up 1.08 percent to 20.65 yuan. China Construction Bank added 2.51 percent to close at 5.31 yuan. Bank of Communications jumped 2.60 percent to 8.30 yuan.

Property developers showed mixed results. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, lost 0.36 percent to 10.92 yuan. Gemdale Corporation added 0.68 percent to 13.41 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd jumped 2.55 percent to 27.79 yuan.

China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's biggest coal producer said its coal output rose 19 percent to 19.2 million metric tons last month while power output declined 12.6 percent to 7.02 million megawatt-hours. The stock lowered 2.21 percent to 25.66 yuan.

Huadian Power International Co said yesterday it will suspend the construction of power plants after the government said it had violated environmental laws. The shares lost 0.84 percent to 4.71 yuan.


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