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Gloomy outlook pulls market down at midday

SHANGHAI'S key stock index fell for the most in a week over concerns the economic situation will hurt the earnings of listed companies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.88 percent, or 22.35 points, to close at 2,511.79 points at 11:30am. Turnover was 85.0 billion yuan (US$12.4 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 598 to 262 and 48 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, lost 1.17 percent to close at 849.45 points.

China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest
carrier by fleet size, posted a loss of 13.9 billion yuan for the past year. Its shares buckled 4.92 percent to 5.61 yuan. Hainan Airlines dropped 1.5 percent to 5.90 yuan. China Southern Airlines Co, the nation's biggest carrier by fleet size, edged up 0.84 percent to 6.03 yuan.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, China's biggest steelmaker, retreated 2.61 percent to 5.96 yuan on concerns the slowing economic growth may hurt demand. Inner Mongolian Baotou Steel Union Co Ltd lost 2.58 percent to 3.78 yuan. Angang Steel Co Ltd retreated 2.98 percent to 9.12 yuan.

Jiangxi Copper, China's biggest producer of the metal, dropped 4.10 percent to 25.52 yuan after copper dropped 1.4 percent in New York yesterday, the most in a week. Zhongjin Gold, the country's second-largest by market value, slid 3.94 percent to 55.40 yuan.

Huadian Power International Corp, the listed unit of China's fourth-largest power producer said first-quarter electricity generation was 24.22 million megawatt-hours without providing year-earlier figures. The stock edged up 0.20 percent to 4.92 yuan.


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