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October 27, 2009

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Key index finishes nearly unchanged

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended almost flat yesterday as losses suffered by brokerages pared gains made by pharmaceutical producers.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.06 percent to 3,109.57. Turnover shrank to 131.4 billion yuan (US$19.3 billion) from 157.3 billion yuan.

Analysts expect the main board to come under pressure during the week as the first batch of 28 start-up firms will debut on the long-awaited Growth Enterprise Market on Friday.

"The Nasdaq-style board may not only siphon some funds but also put pressure on market sentiment" and the key index in the run-up to its launch, said Bai Taiping, a BOZ Research analyst.

In yesterday's trading, drug makers benefited from the weekend announcement by United States President Barack Obama to declare the H1N1 flu a national emergency. Zhejiang Conba Pharmaceutical Co surged by the 10 percent daily cap to 14.51 yuan. China National Medicines Corporation jumped 6.8 percent to 20 yuan.

"Vaccine producers performed strongly recently due to the flu spreading," said Bai. "In the long run, the medicine sector is quite resilient and has bright prospects thanks to the Chinese government's massive health care reform plan."

But brokerages lost, with Citic Securities Co, the country's biggest listed broker, losing 1.6 percent to 28.34 yuan. Haitong Securities Co shed 1.46 percent to 14.85 yuan.

Consumer goods firms also gained. Qingdao Aucma Co climbed 2.5 percent to end at 6.6 yuan and Qingdao Haier Co jumped 2.2 percent to close at 18.8 yuan.


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