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Index edges up ahead of holiday

SHANGHAI'S market closed higher today for the third day, after lower-than-expected consumer price increases eased inflation concerns, but trading remained lukewarm ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.10 percent, or 3 points, to close at 2,985.50 points. Turnover was 64.9 billion yuan (US$9.5 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 540 to 311, and 66 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, edged up 0.11 percent higher to close at 1,118.58 points.

China's Consumer Price Index rose for the third month in January, adding 1.5 percent from the previous year, lower than earlier estimates around 1.8 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics reported this morning. The Producer Price Index, the factory gate inflation gauge, climbed 4.3 percent, the most since October 2008.

Domestic banks lent 1.39 trillion yuan in January in anticipation of monetary policy tightening, the central bank said on its Website today. This was more than the total in the previous three months.

Banks showed mixed results. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank dipped 0.20 percent to 19.64 yuan. China Merchants Bank edged up 0.19 percent to 15.56 yuan. China Construction Bank rose 0.54 percent to 5.61 yuan.

Real estate developers recovered from earlier losses. Poly Real Estate Group added 1.57 percent to 19.35 yuan. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, edged up 0.76 percent to 9.28 yuan. Gemdale Corporation advanced 2.27 percent to 12.17 yuan.


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