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Good news spurs Shanghai stocks

SHANGHAI'S key stock index climbed nearly 3 percent today to an eight month high with strong performances by heavyweights as economic data fueled optimism for a recovery.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 2.84 percent, or 69.47 points, to close at 2,513.70 points. Turnover rose to 187.7 billion yuan (US$27.4 billion) from Friday's 155.5 billion yuan. Gainers outnumbered losers 616 to 222 and 70 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, added 1.84 percent to close at 835.91 points.

New yuan loans surged to a record 1.89 trillion yuan in March, as banks continued the expansion in credit with the support of the government's efforts to boost the economy, the People's Bank of China said on Saturday. M2, the broadest measure of money supply, grew 25.5 percent, up from up from the 20.5 percent in February.

Bank of China advanced 1.43 percent to 3.55 yuan. China Construction Bank, the second-largest bank, added 1.11 percent to 4.57 yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, rose 1.23 percent to 4.12 yuan.

Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters in Thailand that China's economy showed signs of better-than-expected recovery in the first quarter, as investment in fixed assets and consumer demand rose, the Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

Financial shares were also strong. China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, advanced 3.85 percent to 25.34 yuan. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co, the nation's third-largest insurer, hiked 3.85 percent to 18.87 yuan.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner, also known as Sinopec, hiked 5.34 percent to 9.47 yuan with a stimulus package for the petrochemical industry to be unveiled in the near future. PetroChina, the largest component index, rose 4.01 percent to 11.94 yuan. China Oilfield Service Ltd surged the daily cap of 10 percent to 15.74 yuan.

China Shenhua Energy Co, the nation's largest coal
producer, surged surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 25.09 yuan on speculation coal prices would rise. Datong Coal Industry Co Ltd also jumped 10 percent to close at 25.63 yuan. China Coal Energy Co Ltd advanced 7.17 percent to 11.36 yuan.

Real estate developers were also among the gainers. China Vanke Co, the nation's largest listed property developer, rose 1.31 percent to 8.50 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd added 1.66 percent to 22.60 yuan.


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