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Finance and property head rising stock index

SHANGHAI'S key stock index advanced more than 3 percent yesterday in the last trading day of the week, led by strong performances in the financial and property sectors.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.23 percent to close at 2,320.79, a four-month high. Turnover was 164.5 billion yuan (US$24.1 billion).

The index gained a total of 6.4 percent from a week earlier and the combined weekly turnover reached a 12-month high to 758.1 billion yuan.

Banks recovered from Thursday's loss. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China 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 yuan.

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

Real estate developers were also strong. China Vanke rose 5.30 percent to 8.55 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co 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 advanced 6.33 percent to 12.26 yuan as the Baltic Dry Index more than doubled in the past two months. China Shipping Development Co rose 3.86 percent to 11.84 yuan. China International Marine Container (Group) Co advanced 4.24 percent to 8.35 yuan.

China Railway Group, which has secured a total of 23 billion yuan of railway and highway contacts, saw shares rise 7.69 percent to 6.02 yuan.

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


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