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November 19, 2009

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Energy firms fuel climb in key index

THE Shanghai stock market closed at the highest level yesterday since August 6, led by oil producers and energy companies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.62 percent, or 20.34 points, to close at 3,303.23. Turnover totaled 181.5 billion yuan (US$26.6 billion).

Benchmark crude for December delivery climbed to settle at US$79.14 a barrel on Tuesday in New York, as crude stockpiles dropped in the United States. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, jumped 3.25 percent to 12.72 yuan. PetroChina, the largest component in the index, gained 1.23 percent to 14.01 yuan.

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, lost 1 percent to 7.90 yuan, while Wuhan Iron and Steel Co shed 1.08 percent to 8.25 yuan.

Coal producers remained strong as inventories dropped at major ports as a result of the cold weather. Zhengzhou Coal Industry and Electric Power Co surged 4.94 percent to 14.02 yuan. Inner Mongolia Pingzhuang Energy Co rose 2.03 percent to 14.60 yuan, and Datong Coal Industry climbed 1.89 percent to 48.04 yuan.

Natural gas providers also lifted the index on speculation there will be a price hike. Changchun Gas Co surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 8.75 yuan. Shanxi Provincial Natural Gas Co also surged 10 percent to 21.84 yuan.


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