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Index ends lower on investor caution

SHANGHAI'S key stock index swung between gains and losses yesterday as investors remained cautious, ending slightly lower after reaching a nine-month high.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.94 percent, or 25.27 points, to close at 2,651.41 points, after reaching an intraday high of 2,686.34 points. Turnover shrank to 137.73 billion yuan (US$20.25 billion) from 148.28 billion yuan the previous day.

"Shares are expected to keep adjusting through ups and downs amid weak market sentiment," said Wu Ling, an analyst from S&E Securities Brokerage Co. "The barometer will pick up the upward trend after heavyweights are stabilized after corrections."

Sinopec, Asia's largest oil refiner, fell 1.8 percent to 10.37 yuan. PetroChina, the biggest component index, fell 0.61 percent to 13.07 yuan. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dropped 1.15 percent to 4.28 yuan. China Life Insurance Co Ltd lost 1.93 percent to 23.33 yuan.

Home appliances were weak despite the central government's offer of subsidies to encourage upgrading.

Qingdao Haier Co fell 3.44 percent to 11.50 yuan. Qingdao Aucma Co fell 1.69 percent to 6.39 yuan. Sanlian Commercial Co dropped 2.15 percent to 5.93 yuan.

Some auto makers rose after subsidies for vehicle replacement were increased.

Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co was up 9.95 percent to 4.09 yuan and Dongfeng Automobile Co was up 3.7 percent to 5.05 yuan.

However, SAIC Motor Corp lost 1.34 percent to 14.69 yuan and Beiqi Foton Motor Co went down 1.46 percent to 12.84 yuan.


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