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Insurers and banks drag market down

SHANGHAI'S key stock index closed lowered today as insurers and the banking sector tumbled.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.48 percent, or 13.53 points, to close at 2,776.02 points. Turnover was 108.2 billion yuan (US$15.8 billion). Losers outnumbered gainers 503 to 347 and 58 remained unchanged.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks the smaller domestic market, edged up 0.01 percent to close at 916.55 points.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co lost 4.94 percent to 43.85 yuan. China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd lowered 3.62 percent to 18.88 yuan. China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's largest life insurance company, lost 2.53 percent to 25.09 yuan.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, lost 1.42 percent to 4.87 yuan. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was down 1.73 percent to 21.05 yuan. China Construction Bank dipped 0.54 percent to close at 5.57 yuan.

Property developers were also weak. China Vanke Co, the biggest listed domestic real estate developer, lost 2.52 percent to 10.83 yuan. Gemdale Corporation was down 0.81 percent to 13.47 yuan. China Merchants Property Development Co Ltd lowered 1.97 percent to 27.43 yuan.

Metal producers were among the gainers. Zijin Mining (Group) Co added 2.84 percent to 9.43 yuan. Jiangxi Copper Co added 1.40 percent to 30.38 yuan. Zhongjin Gold Co Ltd hiked the daily limit of 10 percent to 47.34 yuan.

Steel producers were strong with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology working on regulations for mergers and acquisitions between steel companies. Fushun Special Steel Co Ltd advanced 4.02 percent to 6.21 yuan. Guangzhou Iron and Steel Co Ltd surged the daily limit of 10 percent to 5.21 yuan. Xinjiang Bayi Iron & Steel Co rose 2.06 percent to 10.40 yuan.


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