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Index closes 3 percent higher

SHANGHAI'S key stock index advanced more than 3 percent today, lifted by auto makers and banking shares, among expectation that government's stimulus measures will be maintained next year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.20 percent, or 99.04 points, to close at 3,195.30 points. Turnover was 160 billion yuan (US$23.4 billion), lowered from 172 billion yuan on Friday. A total of 872 shares gained and only 6 dropped while 34 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, rallied 4.24 percent to close at 1,185.94 points.

China will retain a proactive fiscal policy to maintain policy continuity and stability, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee said at a meeting on Friday, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Banks rebounded from earlier losses. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, was up 0.97 percent to 5.23 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank rose 2.61 percent to 21.98 yuan. China Construction Bank added 1.37 percent to close at 5.93 yuan.

Property shares were also among the gainers. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, added 2.31 percent to 11.53 yuan. Gemdale Corporation advanced 2.65 percent to 15.48 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group jumped 2.17 percent to 24.90 yuan.

Financial shares also benefited. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd rose 3.10 percent to 24.58 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co was up 2.65 percent to 56.84 yuan. China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, jumped 3.35 percent to 30.50 yuan.

Auto makers rose after Shanghai Securities News reported that preferential tax policies for passenger car sales maybe extended and the government will also encourage sales of more fuel-efficient cars. SAIC Motor Corp surged 7.50 percent to 25.37 yuan. Chongqing Chang'an Automobile Co Ltd advanced 5.03 percent to 13.99 yuan. Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd rallied 6.09 percent to 19.51 yuan.


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