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Falling oil price inches market upwards

SHANGHAI'S stock market closed higher for the first time in five days after airlines climbed as crude oil dropped to the lowest level in more than a month.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.25 percent, or 7.54 points, to close at 2,994.14 points. Turnover lowered to 85.6 billion yuan(US$12.5 billion) from yesterday's 90.3 billion yuan. Gainers outnumbered losers 735 to 141, and 58 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.91 percent to close at 1,113.73 points.

Crude oil fell 1.4 percent to US$73.67 a barrel in New York yesterday, the lowest close since December 21. China Eastern Airlines added 2.68 percent to 6.52 yuan. Hainan Airlines surged 9.89 percent to 7 yuan. China Southern Airlines Co Ltd advanced 3.39 percent to 6.10 yuan.

Steel companies and coal producers were also strong. Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, China's biggest steel maker, rose 0.93 percent to 7.62 yuan. Angang Steel Co Ltd added 1.28 percent to 11.89 yuan.

Anhui Hengyuan Coal Industry and Electricity Power Co rose 1.09 percent to 29.63 yuan. China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's largest coal producer, edged up 0.31 percent to 29.59 yuan.

Banks remained flat after the China Banking Regulatory Commission urged banks to strengthen credit management and strictly control non-performing loans, according to its Website yesterday. It also called on banks to ensure "balanced and steady" credit growth.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank lost 0.65 percent to 19.73 yuan. Bank of Communications fell 3.06 percent to 8.25 yuan. China Construction Bank lost 0.53 percent to 5.63 yuan. China Merchants Bank lowered 2.01 percent to 15.13 yuan.

Property shares had mixed results. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, rose 1.29 percent to 9.41 yuan. Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd was up 1.35 percent to 14.23 yuan. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co Ltd lost 0.75 percent to 22.45 yuan.


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