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Index edges up to close at 2,779.43

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed higher today on the last trading day this month after a central bank committee pledged to continue its relatively loose monetary policy in the fourth quarter.

The market will be closed until October 8 for the National Day holiday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent, or 24.89 points, to close at 2,779.43 points. Turnover dropped to 64.8 billion yuan (US$9.5 billion) from yesterday's 74.3 billion yuan. Gainers outnumbered losers 651 to 188, and 71 shares remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, was up 1.29 percent to close at 949.23 points.

The benchmark index lost 6.09 percent this quarter, the worst quarterly performance this year, reflecting worries about an oversupply of shares.

Chinese companies raised 105 billion yuan through initial public offerings in the third quarter, up 700 percent against the same quarter last year, Shanghai Securities News reported today.

China will maintain the consistency and stability of its policy and carry out a relatively loose policy in the fourth quarter, the central bank said yesterday.

A purchasing manager's index for September released by HSBC Holdings Plc showed that the government stimulus package and record bank lending helped to expand manufacturing. The index stood at 55, slightly lower from that of 55.1 in August, the sixth month to see expansion.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, said it will buy a 19.26 percent stake in Bangkok Bank Ltd for 3.72 billion yuan. Its shares rose 0.63 percent to 4.77 yuan.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank said it has recently completed a non-public offering to raise 15 billion yuan at 16.59 yuan per share. The stock was almost unchanged at 19.65 yuan.

China yesterday cut its fuel price by nearly 3 percent, and the top price for 93-octane gasoline fell to 5.90 yuan a liter while zero-grade diesel was lowered from 5.80 yuan to 5.64 yuan, starting today.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, was up 0.09 percent to 11.30 yuan. PetroChina, the most heavily weighted share in the market, rose 1.03 percent to 12.70 yuan.

Metal producers reversed yesterday's gain after gold futures rose on Tuesday. Zijin Mining Co added 2.41 percent to 8.49 yuan. Jiangxi Copper Co advanced 4.69 percent to 34.17 yuan. Yunnan Copper Co rose 3.60 percent to 25.30 yuan. Aluminium Corp of China jumped 3.07 percent to 12.76 yuan.


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