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Index closes at three-month high

SHANGHAI'S key stock index extended its rally today to a three-month high amid optimism that October data to be released on Wednesday will show continued improvement in China's economy.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.36 percent, or 11.55 points, to close at 3,175.59 points. Turnover shrank to 158.8 billion yuan (US$23.7 billion) from 181 billion yuan. Gainers outnumbered losers 540 to 321, and 19 stocks remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.6 percent to close at 1,130.57 points.

"The growth of gross domestic product, consumer price index, producer price index and other economic data for the past month will highlight the further improvement of the country's economic condition," China International Capital Corp wrote in a research note. "And this will bolster up the A share market."

Analysts also expected that stimulus measures for the automobile and property industries, due to expire in December, will continue next year and shore up these sectors.

Some auto makers advanced on news that Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is considering extending the policy to halve car purchase tax. Dongfeng Automobile Co gained 2 percent to 6.38 yuan. Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co expanded 1.2 percent to 4.95 yuan.

Utility companies bucked the downward trend on speculation China may raise retail electricity prices this month to help power generators cover losses. Datang International Power Generation Co jumped 6.2 percent to 9.79 yuan. Huaneng Power International Inc climbed 2.6 percent to 8.35 yuan. Huadian Power International Corp added 2.4 percent to 5.54 yuan.

Gold miners were strong after the bullion price topped US$1,100 an ounce for the first time. Shandong Gold Mining Co surged 7.7 percent to 75.79 yuan. Zhongjin Gold Corp, the second biggest by market value, gained 4.6 percent to 62.68 yuan. Zijin Mining Group Co, the country's largest gold producer, increased 3.3 percent to 9.91 yuan.

Sinopec, Asia°?s largest refiner, eased 0.08 percent to 12.16 yuan and PetroChina Co lost 0.65 percent to 13.67 yuan.


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