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Index ends the week with a slight dip

SHANGHAI'S key stock index dropped on the last trading day of the week after three days of gains.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.23 percent to close at 2,419.78 points. Turnover was 157.2 billion yuan (US$23 billion).

It posted a 1.9-percent increase over the past five days, the third weekly advance.

"Banks and most of the blue chips are still strong after three days' gains and that may be a signal for a further rebound of the index," said a Donghai Securities research note.

New loans in March may reach 1.3 trillion yuan, up from February's 1.07 trillion yuan, according to a report by Shanghai Securities News.

Banks and financial shares continued to rise. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, advanced 2.01 percent to 4.07 yuan. China Construction Bank rose 2.51 percent to 4.50 yuan. The Bank of China edged up 1.70 percent to 3.58 yuan.

Anhui Conch Cement Co, the country's biggest cement maker, said its board approved plans to issue up to 9.5 billion yuan in bonds to repay loans and replenish capital. Its shares dipped 1.82 percent to 35.13 yuan.

Gold producers were among the losers after gold futures in New York dropped on Thursday. Zhongjin Gold Co tumbled 5.46 percent to 55.91 yuan. Shangdong Gold Mining Co fell 5.70 percent to 74.93 yuan.

Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co said in a statement it didn't have any immediate plans to buy more assets of bankrupt Sanlu Group Co. Its shares fell 2.52 percent to 7.73 yuan.

Shanghai International Port (Group) Co, the operator of China's busiest harbor, said its profit for 2008 rose 27 percent to 4.62 billion yuan as higher exports fueled container traffic. The shares fell 3.94 percent to 5.85 yuan.

China's electricity output fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier in March, Caijing Magazine reported, citing State Grid Corp of China.

Huaneng Power International Inc, a unit of China's largest power group, fell 2.4 percent to 7.90 yuan.

Datang International Power Generation Co dropped 2.2 percent to 7.44 yuan while GD Power Development Co, the largest electricity producer in northeast China, slid 1.5 percent to 6.39 yuan.


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