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Gains push index above 2,200

SHANGHAI'S key stock index climbed above 2,200 points yesterday as Premier Wen Jiabao showed confidence in the nation's economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.04 percent, or 22.97 points, to 2,221.08. Turnover rose to 154.4 billion yuan (US$22.6 billion) from Wednesday's 127.9 billion yuan.

Gainers outnumbered losers 526 to 330, and 52 remained unchanged.

Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday said the 8-percent target of China's economic growth is within reach and the government would increase investment to boost demand in the domestic market.

The index surged 6.1 percent the previous trading day, the most in four months, on speculation more stimulus measures would be announced.

"It is very likely the index will fluctuate after such a strong rebound, and it will remain unstable until there is an obvious sign of economic recovery," Huang Changzhong, an analyst with Minsheng Securities, wrote in a research note.

Metal producers led the surge yesterday. Yunnan Chihong Zinc and Germanium Co surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 15.58 yuan. Sino-Platinum Metals Co jumped 9.98 percent to 21.26 yuan.

Copper for May delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 4.7 percent to 30,600 yuan a ton, the highest for a most-active contract since November 10. Yunnan Copper Industry Co advanced 3.35 percent to 14.19 yuan. Jiangxi Copper rose 3.65 percent to 17.34 yuan, extending Wednesday's 10-percent surge.

Aluminum Corp of China, the nation's largest producer of the lightweight metal, edged up 0.52 percent to 9.66 yuan.

Heavyweights and the financial sector also extended Wednesday's gains. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was up 1.83 percent to 3.90 yuan. The Bank of China rallied 4.57 percent to 3.66 yuan.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, added 1.78 percent to 8.56 yuan.

Shares of Eastern Communications Co edged up 0.46 percent to close at 4.34 yuan. The mobile phone maker said it will stop producing phones for Motorola Inc at a venture in Hangzhou in a shift of its production capacity.


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