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Financial shares boost key index to rise 3% at the close

SHANGHAI'S key stock index surged more than 3 percent yesterday to close above 2,300 points, led by the financial sector.

The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 3.06 percent to close at 2,361.7. Turnover was 142.1 billion yuan (US$20.8 billion).

"The index is most likely to go down in the near future on profit taking by investors," according to a research note by Shenyin and Wanguo Securities.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, said its profit for last year climbed 36.3 percent to 110.7 billion yuan. Its shares rose 5.84 percent to 3.99 yuan.

The Bank of China added advanced 3.54 percent to 3.51 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development gained 4.58 percent to 21.71 yuan.

Haitong Securities added 4.2 percent to 13.40 yuan, and Sinolink Securities increased 3.31 percent to 31.24 yuan.

China Life Insurance Co, the nation's biggest insurer, posted its first annual profit drop in five years after the stock market slump hurt investment returns even as premiums increased. Its shares added 2.67 percent to 22.72 yuan.

Shipping companies and port operators also gained after the State Council, China's Cabinet, announced Shanghai will be built into a major international shipping hub. It also called for an integration of port resources in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Shanghai International Port (Group) Co surged by the daily limit of 10 percent to 4.94 yuan. China Shipping Container Lines Co rose 9.94 percent to 3.98 yuan.

PetroChina, the largest oil producer and biggest blue chip in the market, edging up 0.86 percent to 11.67 yuan. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, rose 2.61 percent to 9.05 yuan at the close.


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