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December 26, 2009

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Key stock index ends slightly lower

SHANGHAI'S key stock index ended slightly lower yesterday on concerns over tighter market liquidity as several companies planned to seek fresh capital.

The Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.38 percent, or 12.06 points, to close at 3,141.35. Turnover shrank to 101.5 billion yuan (US$14.9 billion) from 123.3 billion yuan on Thursday.

The benchmark climbed 0.9 percent for the week.

"The transaction volume fell as China National Chemical Engineering offered shares online, and the second batch of eight start-up companies started trading on ChiNext," said Wen Lijun, a Nanjing Securities Co analyst. "As a result, the stock market was lukewarm."

China National Chemical Engineering, which plans to raise up to 6.7 billion yuan in a Shanghai initial public offering, opened subscriptions for retail and institutional investors yesterday.

Analysts said the sluggish performance was also due to a wait-and-see attitude by investors as some overseas markets were closed during the Christmas holiday.

Sluggish heavyweights dragged the barometer lower. PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, shed 0.7 percent to 13.22 yuan while Sinopec, the country's top refiner, lost 0.3 percent to 13.31 yuan.

Commodity producers also declined. Jiangxi Copper Co fell 1.6 percent to 37.98 yuan, and Aluminum Corp of China lost 1.1 percent to 14.09 yuan. Shandong Gold Mining Co dropped 3 percent to 78.81 yuan and Zijin Mining Group Co, the country's largest gold producer, slid 1.9 percent to 9.47 yuan.


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