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Key index dips on profit-taking

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended lower yesterday amid profit-taking after the index stood above 2,100 points in the wake of three consecutive days of gains.

The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.46 percent, or 9.73 points, to 2098.02 after reaching an intraday high of 2,149.48.

Losers outnumbered gainers 635 to 234 while 13 remained unchanged. Turnover continued to swell to 124.5 billion yuan (US$18.3 billion), up from yesterday's 110.7 billion yuan.

The local benchmark index rose almost 2 percent at the morning close, after China adopted measures on Wednesday to bolster textile and machine industries. But shares plunged in the afternoon in the midst of broad selling to take profits at the higher level.

"PMI, a measure of conditions in the manufacturing industry, rose for the second straight month in January, signaling a recovery and boosting market sentiment," Golden Sun Securities Co wrote in a research note, "but there might be fluctuations around 2,100 points where the index would meet technical pressures."

Machinery and textile makers fell as the government efforts fell short of investor expectations. Changsha Zoomlion Heavy Industry, China's second-largest manufacturer of machinery for handling concrete, dropped 1.14 percent to 15.57 yuan.

Youngor Group Co, China's largest maker of men's clothing by sales, tumbled 3.64 percent to 8.73 yuan. Ningbo Shanshan Co lost 1.56 percent to 8.83 yuan.

The heavily weighted insurers and steel makers bucked the downward trend.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, the nation's second-largest insurer, climbed 4.61 percent to 32.46 yuan.

Elsewhere, China Eastern Airlines Corp, the nation's third-largest carrier by fleet size, increased 4.02 percent to 5.17 yuan after Chairman Liu Shaoyong said the company was seeking an additional capital injection.


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