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Index falls as investors take their profits

SHANGHAI'S key stock index fell yesterday, ending a seven-day rally, with investors taking profits after the continuous gains.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2 percent, or 46.86 points, to close at 2,291.55. Turnover shrank to 132.14 billion yuan (US$19.43 billion) from 149.66 billion yuan a day earlier. Losers outnumbered gainers 706 to 162, and 13 remained unchanged.

"There is some technical resistance around 2,300 points. The correction is inevitable after gains for seven straight days," said Wu Ling, an analyst from S&E Securities Brokerage Co, "but the mid-to-long-term upward trend has not changed."

Nonferrous metals and coal producers, which led previous gains, experienced wide fluctuations. Metal producers also reversed morning gains and ended lower yesterday. Jiangxi Copper Co, China's biggest producer of the metal, dropped 0.98 percent to 22.3 yuan. Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd eased 2.62 percent to 10.41 yuan. Shandong Gold Mining Co shrank 1.28 percent to 79.41 yuan.

Oil producers fell despite the country raising basic prices for the fuel. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp edged down 0.56 percent to 8.82 yuan. PetroChina, the biggest heavyweight in the market, was down 1.7 percent to 11.57 yuan.

Banks showed mixed results. The Bank of China dipped 2.31 percent to 3.39 yuan after saying 2008 profit grew 14 percent, the slowest pace in three years.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, dropped 1.57 percent to 3.77 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank rose 1.37 percent to 20.76 yuan.

United Securities Co predicted that the index would move between 2,100 points and 2,420 points in the short term and the general trend was for shares to keep rising.


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