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Heavyweights lead key stock index to decline

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lower yesterday, led by heavyweight shares, as investors took profit after four days of gains.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.19 percent, or 4.34 points, to close at 2,260.82. Turnover expanded to 172.3 billion yuan (US$25.2 billion) from 135.6 billion yuan on Tuesday. Losers outnumbered gainers 483 to 377 and 48 were unchanged.

PetroChina, the biggest component in the index, fell 2.19 percent to 11.61 yuan while China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest carrier by fleet, tumbled 2.58 percent to 5.29 yuan. Banks showed mixed results. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, edged up 0.25 percent to 3.95 yuan while Shanghai Pudong Development Bank dropped 1.07 percent to 17.56 yuan. The Bank of Communications added 0.67 percent to 6.02 yuan. The Industrial Bank Co dipped 0.20 percent to 19.87 yuan.

Despite the slight fall in the index a research note by United Securities said the "high turnover suggested many investors are now going into the market with a fairly good outlook on blue chips, and the general upward trend is not likely to change in the near future."

Cement firms also gained as investors are optimistic about their profit outlook as more funds would be poured into infrastructure construction.

Fujian Cement Inc and Hebei Taihang Cement Co Ltd surged by the daily limit of 10 percent. Hebei Taihang closed at 7.51 yuan and Fujian Cement ended at 5.50 yuan. Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co Ltd rose 4.49 percent to 6.75 yuan.


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