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Flat trading ahead of weekend

SHANGHAI'S key stock index almost remained unchanged in the morning session with flat trading ahead of the weekend.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.08 percent, or 2.66 points, to close at 3,267.29 points. Turnover was 124.8 billion yuan (US$18.3 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers by 766 to 101 and 46 stocks remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, dropped 2.07 percent to close at 1,208.59 points.

Banks recovered from yesterday's losses. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, rose 1.90 percent to 5.36 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank added 2.53 percent to 22.67 yuan. China Construction Bank was up 2.51 percent to close at 6.12 yuan.

China Shipbuilding Industry Co, one of the two major producers in the country, said it plans to raise as much as 14.7 billion yuan in an initial public offering in Shanghai. The company will open subscriptions on Monday, according to a statement to the stock exchange.

Steel producers showed mixed results. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co was down 1.76 percent to 8.95 yuan. Beijing Shougang Co Ltd dipped 0.81 percent to 6.15 yuan. Nanjing Iron & Steel Co was up 0.79 percent to 6.41 yuan. Wuhan Iron & Steel was down 0.47 percent to 8.53 yuan.

Metal producers retreated from earlier gains. Zijin Mining Co dropped 2.81 percent to 10.71 yuan. Shandong Gold Mining Co lowered 2.85 percent to 86.19 yuan. Yunnan Copper Co was down 1.44 percent to 32.11 yuan. Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd was down 0.96 percent to 15.44 yuan.

Property shares were also weak. Gemdale Corporation lost 0.58 percent to 15.54 yuan. Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co Ltd retreated 4.73 percent to 27.98 yuan. Shanghai Wai Gaoqiao Free Trade Zone Development Co Ltd lost 3.33 percent to 17.70 yuan.


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