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Index falls slightly amid uncertainty

Shanghai's key stock index ended down yesterday amid uncertainty about what measures the central government will take in the future.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.24 percent, or 5.03 points, to close at 2,128.85 points. Turnover was 71 billion yuan (US$10.38 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 612 to 252 and 44 remained unchanged.

"The market is not likely to suffer a major loss in the near future and we think the index may climb, led by blue chips and the heavyweights," said a research note by GF Securities. The index has lost 2.93 percent since the beginning of the week.

Banks and financial sector stocks had mixed results. Bank of Communications rose 2.97 percent to 5.54 yuan. Bank of China was up 1.2 percent to 3.38 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was down 0.49 percent to 18.19 yuan. China Merchants Bank Co dipped 0.7 percent to 14.23 yuan.

China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, added 1.16 percent to 10.94 yuan. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd advanced 2.2 percent to 14.41 yuan.

China Coal Energy Co said it increased output by 0.4 percent in the first two months. Its shares dipped 0.39 percent to 7.79 yuan. China Shenhua Energy Co edged up 0.05 percent to 18.83 yuan. Datong Coal Industry Co Ltd gained 1.03 percent to 14.69 yuan.

Crude oil prices surged 11 percent in New York on Thursday to above US$47 per barrel after analysts predicted that OPEC might cut production. PetroChina, the biggest component on the Shanghai index, dipped 0.09 percent to 10.61 yuan. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp was down 0.37 percent to 8.14 yuan.


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