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Key index rises to 7-month high on finance, metal firms

SHANGHAI'S key stock index rose to a seven-month high yesterday, boosted by strong showing of financial shares and metal producers.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.47 percent to close at 2,408.02 points, the highest since August 25. Turnover was 166.5 billion yuan (US$24.3 billion). The benchmark index has rallied 32 percent so far this year.

"The index was not affected by speculation that there may be more initial public offerings in the near future and was quite strong after the announcement of the Growth Enterprise Market rules, which suggests a positive outlook on the economy in coming days," according to a research note by Shenyin and Wanguo Securities.

Coal firms also rose on strong talk the National Development and Reform Commission would raise coal prices soon. Hebei Jinniu Energy Resources Co rose 7.55 percent to 22.65 yuan while Shanxi Xishan Coal and Electricity Power Co jumped 9.21 percent to 18.15 yuan.

Copper rose 4.4 percent in New York yesterday. The metal has gained 31 percent in the first quarter of this year. Jiangxi Copper, China's biggest miner of the metal, added 2.55 percent to 23.69 yuan.

Hunan Valin Steel Co, part-owned by the world's largest mill Arcelor Mittal, rose 2.2 percent to 6.18 yuan. Parent Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group was cleared to buy a 17.6-percent stake in Fortescue Metals Group through new stock and from shareholder Harbinger Capital Partners.

China Construction Bank added 0.47 percent to 4.32 yuan, and China Merchants Bank Co added 1.63 percent to 16.19 yuan. However, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank dipped 0.5 percent to 21.81 yuan.


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