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Finance and property give market a boost

SHANGHAI'S key stock index advanced more than 3 percent today to sit above 2,300 points led by strong performances in the finance and property sectors.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surged 3.23 percent, or 72.70 points, to close at 2,320.79 points. Turnover was 164.5 billion yuan (US$24.1 billion).
Gainers outnumbered losers 848 to 28 and 32 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, jumped 3.62 percent, or 26.19 points, to close at 749.31 points.

Banks recovered from yesterday's losses and had overall strong performances. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, added 2.06 percent to 3.97 yuan. China Construction Bank was up 2.32 percent to 4.41 yuan. Bank of China rose 3.06 percent to 3.37 yuan. Bank of Communications edged up 1.87 percent to 6.00 yuan.

"It is a fairly good opportunity for investors since the index will not fluctuate in a very wide range and the rising turnover suggests institutional investors are also more confident than before," Wan Bing, an analyst with GF Securities, said in a research note.

Aluminum Corp of China has agreed to invest a further US$19.5 billion in Rio Tinto. Its subsidiary Aluminum Corp of China, or Chinalco, surged 8.77 percent to 11.41 yuan.

Real estate developers were also strong. China Vanke Co, the nation's biggest listed property developer, hiked 5.30 percent to 8.55 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd advanced 6.46 percent to 18.28 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group was up 4.58 percent to 19.39 yuan.

China Cosco Holdings Co Ltd advanced 6.33 percent to 12.26 yuan as the Baltic Dry Index has more than doubled in the past two months. China Shipping Development Co Ltd rose 3.86 percent to 11.84 yuan. China International Marine Container (Group) Co Ltd advanced 4.24 percent to 8.35 yuan.

China Railway Group Ltd, the nation's largest construction company by total assets, secured 23 billion yuan in railway and highway contracts. Its shares hiked 7.69 percent to 6.02 yuan.

Fushun Special Steel Co said its profit for 2008 climbed 46 percent from a year earlier to 34.7 million yuan. The stock advanced 3.39 percent to 5.18 yuan.

Zhongtian Urban Development Group Co said its profit reached 191 million yuan in 2008, 58 percent up from the previous period. Its shares surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 8.90 yuan.


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