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Index dips slightly on banking fears

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed slightly lower today with weak performance in the banking sector and financial shares.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.16 percent, or 5.12 points, to close at 3,264.63 points. Turnover was 189 billion yuan (US$27.7 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 501 to 368 and 45 stocks remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 0.48 percent to close at 1,234.17 points.

Banks retreated after China Securities Journal said today that China may have 5 trillion yuan to 7 trillion yuan of new loans next year, citing central bank researcher Bu Yongxiang. M2 money supply may rise 16 percent to 17 percent next year, the report said. New loans from domestic banks in the first 10 months this year was 8.92 trillion yuan, far above its target of 5 trillion yuan at the beginning of this year.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, lost 1.31 percent to 5.26 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was down 0.72 percent to 22.11 yuan. China Construction Bank dipped 0.67 percent to close at 5.97 yuan.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd retreated 2.10 percent to 24.65 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co lost 1.51 percent to 56.86 yuan.

China Eastern Airlines Corp said it won approval from the securities regulator to issue no more than 1.35 billion A shares to institution investors in a non-public offering. It shares were down 1.47 percent to 6.29 yuan.

Huadian Power International Corp said it has sold 750 million shares at 4.70 yuan per share in a private placing and raised 3.45 billion yuan to increase investment in power plant facilities. Its shares lowered 0.71 percent to 5.57 yuan.

Brokerages were among the gainers after Shenzhen Stock Exchange President Song Liping said on Wednesday that stock index futures and margin trading will help fund managers to hedge against risk, spurring speculation that margin trading will be introduced soon. Haitong Securities jumped 3.11 percent to 16.90 yuan. Everbright Securities was up 0.85 percent to 23.80 yuan. Sinolink Securities added 2.20 percent to 24.11 yuan.

Steel producers were also strong. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co jumped 3.64 percent to 9.11 yuan. Beijing Shougang Co Ltd added 1.81 percent to 6.20 yuan. Wuhan Iron & Steel edged up 0.59 percent to 8.48 yuan.


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