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Index declines although consumer shares rise

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended slightly lower in the morning session as rises in consumer-related sectors ahead of the eight-day national holiday were overshadowed by sluggish blue chips.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.22 percent to 2,960.44 points. Turnover stood at 70.5 billion yuan (US$10.4 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 519 to 333, with 21 stocks remaining unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.19 percent to close at 1,041.34 points.

Steel producers led the decliners. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, the country's largest steelmaker, retreated 1.6 percent to 6.79 yuan. Handan Iron & Steel Co slid 4 percent to 5.24 yuan. Angang Steel Co, China's second-biggest steel maker, withdrew 2.3 to 12.62 yuan.

Bucking the downward trend, department stores, retailers, home appliances and other consumer-related companies continued to advance on expectations that the National Day holiday beginning on October 1 will boost consumption.

Television maker Hisense Electric Co surged 7 percent to 14.2 yuan. Beijing Hualian Hypermarket Co gained 3 percent to 8.87 yuan. Personal care producer Shanghai Jahwa United Co jumped 3.6 percent to 28.45 yuan.

Elsewhere, Kweichow Moutai, the nation's biggest prouder of spirits by market value, climbed 2.4 percent to 169.32 yuan after parent China Kweichow Moutai Distillery Co announced plans to spend 20 billion yuan in doubling the capacity to 40,000 tons of liquor a year in the next decade.


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