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July 21, 2009

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Home » Business » Finance

Key barometer gets a boost from financial, metals shares

SHANGHAI'S key stock index climbed the most in seven weeks yesterday to its highest level in 13 months, led by strong performance of financial companies and metal producers.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 2.42 percent, or 77.18 points, to close at 3,266.92. Turnover was 234.1 billion yuan (US$34.3 billion).

The gauge has surged 79 percent this year as banks tripled new loans to 7.37 trillion yuan in the first six months from a year earlier and the government implemented a stimulus package.

"The fluidity of the capital will influence the market and investors should be cautious of fluctuations although this will not change the upward trend of the index," Shenyin and Wanguo Securities wrote in a research report.

PetroChina, the biggest index component, gained 2.74 percent to 14.99 yuan. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner and also known as Sinopec, rose 2.85 percent to 11.92 yuan.

Metal producers were strong on optimism the nation's economic recovery will boost demand for metals.

Jiangxi Copper, the nation's biggest copper firm, surged 3.99 yuan to 43.90 yuan. The stock has rallied 340 percent this year, making it the fifth-biggest gainer among the index's 896 stocks.

Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, the country's biggest producer of the metal, jumped by the daily limit of 10 percent to 16.57 yuan. Zijin Mining Co rose 6.66 percent to 11.53 yuan.

Insurers were also among the gainers, after the China Insurance Regulatory Commission yesterday said the industry may report a combined profit of 26.1 billion yuan in the first half.

China Life Insurance Co, the country's largest life insurer, surged 8.07 percent to 32.40 yuan, the most since October 13.

China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co edged up 0.87 percent to 29.06 yuan. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co rose 1.5 percent to 60.80 yuan.

Banks also gained, with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, up 0.57 percent to 5.27 yuan and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank up 0.92 percent to 25.29 yuan.

Other advancers included Huaneng Power International Inc adding 2.46 percent to 8.33 yuan and Huadian Power International Corp up 1.63 percent to 5.60 yuan.

Real estate firms lost as the banking regulator ordered banks to comply with mortgage rules.

China Vanke Co dipped 0.78 percent to 13.96 yuan, and Poly Real Estate Group fell 2.02 percent to close at 28.62 yuan.


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